Tufted Marsh Wader Species in Nideon | World Anvil
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Tufted Marsh Wader

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The Tufted marsh wader is a bird that lives in the marshes of the Minor Continent. It is known for its mimicry.


The Tufted marsh wader is named for its long legs, which it uses to wade through the wet marshland in search of insects, its primary diet, as well as the tufts of feathers on their heads. Though they stand 2-3 feet tall at full height, they have small bodies, and only weigh about 10-15 pounds. Their main form of movement is walking, as their name suggests, but they have short, stubby wings, which they use for short, quick flights. They are also known for their taloned feet, which are not seen among other wading species. Scientists believe they evolved these feet to better defend themselves against their main predator, the Keelan Eagle. Though they are mostly peaceful, they are good fighters when provoked.


The Marsh wader is known for its mimicry. They are known to sit in low-lying shrubbery, where their brightly colored feathers resemble flowers. This helps them camouflage from predators while also attracting insects to eat. Marsh waders often live in pairs or small families and trade off the duty of attracting prey so that others can quickly eat.
The marsh wader is also known for making a variety of calls. Though their typical calls to each other resemble snorts and honks, they are good at mimicking other bird calls, including that of the keelan eagle. Marsh waders have been observed using this call for a variety of reasons, including:
  • alerting family that a keelan eagle is near
  • tricking a nearby hawk into thinking it has competition
  • tricking other marsh waders into thinking an eagle is nearby and leaving a good feeding area
  • tricking mates potential mates into staying in a nest with them
Marsh waders in areas with more people, such as northern Dekani are also known to mimic human sounds. Though they do not speak, they can whistle, hum, and sometimes even scream. Locals claim they can "communicate" with the marsh waders with these sounds, and use them to navigate the marshes. Outsiders have been known to hear the sounds and chase after them, thinking they are people, sometimes getting horribly lost. This has also given rise to stories of the Dekani marshes being haunted.
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities
by Molly Marjorie
A child's drawing of a Tufted Marsh Wader

Marsh Waders as a Cultural Symbol

  And the gods came to her and told her to settle among the flying flowers...
The Marsh wader is the national symbol of Dekani. According to legend, one of the Dekani priestesses had a vision that her people needed to settle among the land of flying flowers. After leaving Brightland, they traveled south until they found bushes with large yellow flowers in them. As they got closer, these flowers rose into the air as marsh waders, and this is where they formed their new capitol. This day is still celebrated in the country as a national holiday.

Cover image: by Molly Mar


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