The fan-tailed bird is a small avian with a tail as long as the rest of their bodies. These highly active birds can rarely be found sitting still, but when the bird is at rest and the tail is folded, it is a mere few centimetres across and rounded at the end. When spread, the tail bears the characteristic fan shape responsible for its name.
Their bodies easily fit into the average palm. The feathers are brownish-grey on top and fawn colour underneath. The head has a white throat and distinctive white markings above the eyes. They've a small, triangular beak surrounded by fine hair-like feathers suited for catching their meal whilst in the air.
Ecology and Habitats
Fan-tailed birds can be found all over Demarn. Although forests and scrubland are their natural habitat, they can also be found flitting amongst farmland, orchards and city gardens.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Being an insect-eater, their diet consists of moths, flies, beetles and spiders. Whilst they are known to hop amongst tree ferns and foliage, picking pick insects directly from leaves, their most common hunting method is to flush out their meal. To do this, they stir up the air, resulting in a cloud of bite-sized insects. This is where their agility and fanned tail come in handy as both traits enable them to flit through the insect cloud in tight loops during their feasting, snapping up several insects at a time.
Demarners consider them as being quite cheeky. This is largely because of their behaviour of following travellers or other big animals, such as deer or pigs, for a short distance, hopping from perch to perch with their tails splayed, waiting for the chance to swoop in on their heels and devour the insects a big animal's passage will disturb (sometimes within a few feet). If said traveller isn't moving at the bird's preferred pace, they are known to perch close by and verbalise their annoyance by way of a sharp 'cheet cheet' noise that many describe as being sworn at. Because this behaviour garners laughter, and often a flap of cloth that gives the animal what it wants, many birds will repeat the act several times, often with the same individual.
18cm (7in) long, including the tail.