These avian creatures attain a maximum wingspan of 18 feet, with their bodies reaching 6 feet in length. They are vastly different from their smaller cousins, having the innate ability to adapt their colouration depending on their surroundings. Normally possessing a silvery coloured plummage, a Silverhawk will turn a deep crimson while taking a rampant stance if seriously challenged.
They prefer to nest in alpine areas with extremely high peaks. Their family units are large (up to ten members in a single roost). A number of families are often loosly organized into a large clan (with as many as 80 members) that can claim a territory up to 500 miles in radius. Such a clan territory will be protected from other predators and silverhawks. Silverhawks have even been known to throw themselves (and even and entire clan) into suicidal attacks against a dragon or gryphon that had intruded into their region. The larger the predator, the greater the chance that the entire clan will gather to drive it off.
Two poison glands in the pelvis inject a potent muscular poison through a retractable talon located within the center of each foot. The preferred hunting tactic is to dive down from above the prey at speeds approaching 200 mile per hour, extend the powerful claws, and slam into the back of the prey. This easily incapacitates, if not outright kills the prey due to the massive impact to the spinal region and cranial cavity. This type of attack is used primarily against other avian creatures while they are airborne. A more limited form of dive attack is used against large land prey, which relies upon poisoning the prey with the silverhawk's talons.
While awkward on the ground, these birds are extremely agile fliers given their size. Great endurance allows a flight of silverhawks to remain airborne for several days. During such flights they will seek to thin the predator population: wolves, foxes, bears, etc. It seems that the silverhawk has some grasp of the consequences of excessive predation within a given area. When the clan becomes too large, the clan will downsize itself, normally by some clan members relocating to start a new clan, although infirm silverhawks will be slain.
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