|Natural Habitat:||Tropic. Xiunhai-La, Taopai|
|Average Size:||15-25" long, 30-50" wingspan (subset: 25-37")|
|Coloring:||Predominately white. Females: blue tinge, males: black|
|Distinguishing Features:||2 sets of wings, swirling crest from forehead, black feet|
The breed has been the monarchy's symbol for many generations, and hunting, stuffing, or even capturing any of these birds for commerce under local Xiunlan law is punishable by death in the monarchy's law courts. There is usually a Zhenkau falcon in the presence of the First Lord or Lady whenever he or she holds court meetings in the palace, and while considered the ruler's favorite pet, it usually comes and goes as it pleases. Due to the Xiunkan Ishkal's latent mystical/psychic/telepathic/psionic powers, sometimes the court tiercel is used to be the Ishkal's eyes from beyond the island nation.
The sacred animal of the natives of Xiunhai-La, the Zhenkau falcon is a four-winged bird of prey, and extremely rare on other parts of the world though they can sometimes be seen during their routine migrations during the stormy seasons. It has a predominantly white coloring, tinged with slashes of pale blue or black (blue for females, black for males). The coloring is the primary indication on which is a maho ("hen") and which is a haku ("rooster," or in this case, a "tiercel"). Its beak has the distinctive hook at the end present for all birds of prey, and is distinctly characterized by the swirling crest that extends from the forehead, and curves backwards along its head. Its feet are black, with hooked claws meant for tearing into a variety of choice prey from small rats, medium-sized ducks, and even small, wild badgers. Its tail is narrow, and somewhat blunt at the top, which fan out whenever they are at flight. Its beauty often masks the animal's ferocity, and they are prone to go for vulnerable parts of the body such as the eyes and throat if one is not careful.
They tend to live high above ground as well, roughly at least 15 feet off the ground, and like other falcons, they don't build their own nests. They prefer cliffs , tall, hollowed-out trees, and other cavity-like spaces in which they can be protected as well as give them enough hunting ground. They are also noted for their stamina, and can cross great distances at one time without any effort at all since Xiunhai-la is somewhat isolated from the rest of the world, and they would need to cross miles of sea to get to other lands.
Migrates during the rainy season to avoid the treacherous conditions so much water can create. Before the heart of the rainy season they take to flight and relocate to the foot of the Taopai mountains. They can also be found in the myriad harbors and small towns in the drier sections. This arrival is welcomed with open arms thanks to their excellent hunting skills, speed and maneuverability, and voracious appetite for the rats that plague the settlements.
Upon returning from their first migration, at the end of the wet season, yearling falcons congregate around the capital of Kai Naptra to attract mates. Males, tiercel, put their plumage to work and use a series of elaborate dances and displays to catch the eye of a maho, hen. Pairs mate for life. Each yearling hopes to leave the city just with haste so they can try and build their first nest.
At the beginning of each dry season the Zhenkau falcon pairs find a place to nest. They tend to live high above ground as well, roughly at least 15 feet off the ground, and like other falcons, they don't build their own nests. They prefer cliffs , tall, hollowed-out trees, and other cavity-like spaces in which they can be protected as well as give them enough hunting ground. Each clutch holds 2-4 eggs and a good percentage of them live to adulthood. The chicks must reach adulthood and become adept enough fliers to cross the stretch of ocean that separates them from Taopai.
Zhenkaus are extremely fast animals, with the increased wing power of four wings, though the subset is primarily used for direction to increase agility in flight. Its because of this that they're known to be several of the quickest animals in the world. They tend to soar instead of beating their wings unless they are in active pursuit, or if they have someplace to go. Upon using their full speed, the subset folds under and extend to the back slightly even as the main wings carry them forward. Granted that those who live in the country tend to be long-lived, these birds do so as well, and can last from 15 to 25 years.
It is notorious for absolutely despising entrapment, and will fight, flap, squawk, scratch, and peck if cornered.