Trenic Dovehawk

Copyright William Byrd © 2014

Edited by Terence Wynne for The Guild Companion

"When bored, dovehawks will explore the surroundings, launch into aerial displays, and become rather noisy and disruptive."

Trenic Dovehawk

Wingspan: 20cm
Life span: 10-20 years
Habitat: Urban areas, Wooded plains, Domesticated
Social habits: Solitary or mated pairs
Hunting habits: Small birds, mice, insects
Mating habits: Lifelong, Exclusive

Trenic Dovehawk with wings extended

The Trenic Dovehawk is a small bird of prey found in urban areas, forests, and anywhere humans tend to congregate. They usually hunt pigeons, doves, and other birds, but often hunt small rodents and insects as well.

The dovehawk is surprisingly friendly and curious about humans, often nesting in barns and near granaries, or in the eaves of buildings in the heart of cities. They are not commonly used for hunting due to their small stature, which limits the size of their prey to rodents and lizards. They are, however, considered excellent and loyal companions.

Their limited prey of insects, lizards, and rodents means a Trenic is little threat to livestock, poultry, or pets. So they are often seen as a useful animal by farmers, and landowners who will keep them as pets, or allow them to nest in their barns to control pests.

Domestication And Training

The dovehawk is easy to domesticate; while chicks are preferred for domestication even adults can be befriended and domesticated by a trained handler. In many regions the dovehawk is as common a pet as a dog or house cat, leading to them being bred and cared for in large numbers by local farmers and residents.

Trenic are easily trained and have a well developed memory allowing them to learn numerous tricks and recognize commands easily. Such easy commands as fly, follow, watch, fetch, or catch are often taught to Trenic by youths who enjoy showing off their bird's talents or competing to see which bird is the best trained.

A few trainers have earned fame for their birds' ability to snatch sling bullets out of the air or catch a blunted arrow before it hits the ground. Perhaps the most incredible stunt performed by a dovehawk is reported to be snatching a sling bullet, or arrow, out of the air to protect its trainer during combat.

Normal Behavior

Dovehawks are extremely energetic, often seeming to fly, and perform dizzying aerial stunts, without any apparent reason. These aerial displays often attract other dovehawks and are not exclusive to mating flights, or any other purpose other than perhaps entertainment and bonding between local Trenic.

Humans who domesticate and train dovehawks often compete with each other for bragging rights or occasionally small sums of money or tokens. They train their birds to fly and perform extremely difficult and flashy aerial stunts on command.

Usually a Trenic is not prone to ranging far from its hunting grounds and nest. Even domesticated Trenic prefer to stay close to home. A skilled trainer or someone who has formed a close bond with his "pet" can coax a Trenic to range farther afield with him.

When traveling, the energetic high-strung nature of the bird make them excellent watchers, especially at night when any disturbance or unusual smell or noise will trigger a raucous response by the Trenic.

Dovehawks for Hunting

While they are not powerful enough to bring down useful prey for humans, dovehawks are gifted with keen eyesight and the ability to spot other animals even through light cover. Hunters may use a dovehawk to spook larger prey out of cover, or to spot and mark the direction of prey animals allowing hunters to track prey well out of line of sight.

Dovehawks in Combat

Dovehawks are not very efficient combatants. Their small size, small talons, and beak do not give them the ability to harm larger creatures. However, they are more than capable of distracting, confusing, or harassing a hostile creature or person to great effect.

When angered, threatened, or in defense of their owner trainer, a dovehawk will furiously fly into the face of an attacker, battering it with its wings, and lashing out at the eyes with its talons and beak.

A creature that is unable to chase off or kill an enraged dovehawk is likely to be at a severe penalty when trying to do anything but get rid of the dovehawk.

Usually a single slap or even glancing blow is enough to drive a dovehawk away for a short time. However, due to its agility, small size, and unexpected ferocity, hitting a dovehawk, much less injuring it, is rather difficult.

Dovehawks and Less than Honest Endeavors

Dovehawks are second only to ravens in their love of shiny things. They will on their own accord collect brightly colored objects, bits of glass and metal, or more valuable items. The will cache them away in a secluded spot known only to a mate or a human friend.

On more than one occasion when felling a hollow tree, people will find it full of lost items, strange colorful bits, and "lost" jewelry. So, a few enterprising but less than scrupulous people have trained dovehawks to single out jewelry, coins, or other small valuables and return them directly to a designated cache. It is even more common to train a Dovehawk to take an item from its owner and return it to its cache. A few coins, a piece of jewelry, or other items can be stolen, given to a dovehawk and vanish into some crevice, eave, or nesting box far from the scene of the crime.

Problems with Dovehawks

Boredom: Dovehawks are not known for their patience or good manners during long sessions of waiting or being expected to sit on a perch. When bored, dovehawks will explore the surroundings, launch into aerial displays, and become rather noisy and disruptive. Placing hood or veil over a dovehawk does not help; in fact it makes the situation worse. Being high-strung and skittish a dovehawk will fly into a frenzy if hooded or unable to see its surroundings. In short, expect a dovehawk to make a bloody nuisance out of itself if it is unable to move about, explore, and socialize for any length of time.

Fascination with shiny objects and bright colors; left to its own devices a dovehawk is drawn to anything bright, colorful, and shiny. Coins, broaches, rings, and necklaces will vanish into the Dovehawks cache the instant you're not looking. While at best annoying and inconvenient, this habit could lead to serious legal issues if the owner of the item has no sense of humor. Being arrested and interrogated while your dovehawk is off admiring its newly found bauble is the last thing that you want to do on a peaceful spring morning.

Manners and etiquette: Dovehawks don't have them. They will snatch food out of a person's hand, raise a ruckus at the worst times, or fly over, and investigate Lady Huffingtonâeuro(TM)s glorious new hair style and bright tiara without any hesitation.

Jealousy: Dovehawks are known to be rather jealous. If it is not paid attention to for any length of time it will do its best to get its owners attention. If its owner is paying attention to something or someone else, a dovehawk is likely to take out its frustrations on that person or object by harassing it, landing and pecking or tugging at its coat, hair, or tail. Or generally making a blessed pain in the rump.