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The Alola Pokedex

Rediamond

Middle of nowhere
Mandibuzz (Vullaby)

Overview

Mandibuzz are widely known as a female-only species take great pains to adorn themselves but never seem to attract a male to mate with. This is mostly propaganda. In the 1940s the United States introduced mandibuzz to Alola to bond with the existing braviary. The juxtaposition of brave warrior birds protecting stereotypically feminine “civilians” was used to motivate troops by reminding them of home.

Even at the time scientists largely knew that this image was partially false. Mandibuzz are hermaphrodites that lay and fertilize eggs. Their adornments are partially to attract mates but are also used for hunting and to satisfy their own vanity. The mates they attract are other female mandibuzz. While they are often portrayed as carnivores, mandibuzz are carrion birds with jaws too weak to pierce the skin of many pokémon. This misinformation was spread because their scavenging is far more reliable than braviary’s hit-or-miss approach of hunting large aquatic game. Sometimes the mandibuzz feed the braviary. This undercuts the image of brave soldier birds.

Mandibuzz are relatively intelligent and social birds. Many trainers are surprised to learn that in captivity they are actually very clean eaters and reliable groomers with the added bonus of being easily housebroken for a bird. While their bone decorations can be a little expensive, they need to be replaced infrequently enough that mandibuzz are not substantially costlier to care for than the average large bird.

It should be noted here that, like gumshoos, mandibuzz ownership carries political subtext. Specifically the vultures are very popular among LGBT trainers. A female trainer with a mandibuzz will probably be read as lesbian more often than not. Mandibuzz were used for decades as a small sign of self-expression and a means of identifying other lesbian trainers. This has only become common knowledge in the last few years as many, but not all, mandibuzz trainers have publicly revealed their sexual orientation. The intersex community also uses mandibuzz as a symbol. This has caused some public conflict between activists over which group has a better claim to the species.

Physiology

Both stages are classified as dual dark- and flying-types. This typing is uncontroversial.

Vullaby are small and plump birds. Most of their plumage is brown, black, or grey. Hatchlings have pure white down feathers. Aside from a small tuft on top of their head, vullaby have no feathers on their head or neck. Their wings are very small and vullaby are functionally flightless. A fluffy collar of soft feathers rings their neck. In addition to being flightless, vullaby are ungainly on land and must awkwardly waddle around.

Mandibuzz have long wings. The feathers at the tips of the wings are lighter than those towards the base. Vullaby’s collar has grown into a mess of long and fluffy feathers that extends onto the chest. Mandibuzz also gain a skirt of similar feathers to keep them and their chicks warm. Upon evolution a mandibuzz’s tail grows in length. Young mandibuzz retain a hair tuft; older birds have entirely bald necks and heads. Mandibuzz have powerful wing muscles to compensate for their own weight.

Mandibuzz reach a maximum wingspan of two meters. Unadorned mandibuzz typically weigh about ten kilograms but bone ornaments can raise this to twelve or even fifteen kilograms. Mandibuzz can live up to fifty years in captivity or thirty in the wild.

Behavior

Contrary to popular belief, mandibuzz are exclusively scavengers. In fact their beaks are so weak that they struggle to break the skin of many pokémon. This leads to symbiotic relationships between mandibuzz prides and other large birds. In Alola, Galar, and parts of North America this relationship is formed with braviary companies, but in other parts of their range the prides attach to birds such as harpyre, rherhea, or South Island decidueye.

Mandibuzz play a key role in the lives of Alola’s rufflet. While braviary are off hunting, some of the mandibuzz pride will stay back and keep an eye on the rufflet and vullaby. Others will fly over the land and use their keen sense of smell to find recently dead pokémon. The mandibuzz carries an older rufflet with them when they hunt. When a carcass is found the rufflet is dropped off on a tree branch. The mandibuzz will then carry the carcass up into the tree where the rufflet will cut it open. Both birds will share in the kill and the mandibuzz will pick out any bones she wants for herself or her vullaby. The pair will then return to the pride’s nesting grounds.

The adornment of vullaby is primarily for defensive purposes. The young birds are periodically given skulls or other bones to guard themselves with. The bones are held in place with the thick, sticky spit of their mothers. Dense bone plating guards all the most vulnerable areas of a vullaby.

Mandibuzz adorn themselves with bones partially for defense. Some bones are carefully hidden under their feathers to safeguard organs. Others are visible. These bones are believed to be used for similar purposes to jewelry in humans. They are partially used for attracting mates, partially as a sign of their ability to successfully provide for their pride, and partially for simple self-expression. When members of two prides meet they often trade ideas for adornment. Trendsetting mandibuzz can have their fashion innovations spread across their entire archipelago in a matter of weeks.

Mandibuzz occasionally kill cubone. They only do this when food is abundant and there is leisure time. A mated pair or an unmated female and one of her mothers will perch in cubone habitat. When a cubone is alone, one mandibuzz will swoop down in front of it and begin to act aggressively. The goal is to take the cubone’s club, but sufficient distraction will also work. When the cubone is open the other mandibuzz will fly in from behind, grab the cubone, and fly it into the air. After catching a thermal and rising as high as possible, the cubone will be dropped. If it survives the impact the process will be repeated as much as necessary. Cubone clubs are considered to be extremely valuable for ornamentation and their skulls, intact or cracked, are good for protection.

Prides tend to consist of five to eight mated pairs, a handful of unmated young adults, and their children. Young adults occasionally move between prides. While children are attached to their parents, childcare and almost all other tasks sans hunting and bone gathering are communal. Sick birds will be supported by other pride members.

Husbandry

Mandibuzz are relatively self-sufficient. They are easily housebroken and keep themselves clean. Mandibuzz and older vullaby will happily eat almost all forms of meat. Unlike most carnivorous birds, they will eat kibble on occasion. Raw or cooked meat is strongly preferred, though. In most areas it is legal to let mandibuzz scavenge on their own as they do not actively kill their prey. They will need to be accompanied by another pokémon capable of slicing skin open when prey is found. Some mandibuzz have learned how to use knives. This allows them to scavenge unsupervised. However, mandibuzz often see knives as very valuable bones and refuse to give them back under any circumstances.

Mandibuzz will often get their bones from their prey. Gifted bones will make them exceptionally happy. Cubone clubs and skulls are viewed as the highest quality bones of them all. A handful of specialty stores sell bones for mandibuzz. Vullaby will need proper skulls and feather-safe glue to secure them in place. If there is no mandibuzz around to do it, the trainer should either take lessons on bone crafting or have their armor custom made by a professional. Both options can be rather expensive.

Both mandibuzz and vullaby are very affectionate. While resting they prefer to cuddle with their trainer. They will often groom long-haired trainers whether or not it is wanted. Sometimes mandibuzz will present their trainer with interesting bones or shiny rocks or bits of metal as gifts. Wearing these will make the pokémon very happy. Many trainers are shocked to know that mandibuzz only communicate in growls and whistles. They do not have the ability to chirp or make many common bird sounds.

Vullaby will tolerate pokéballs for up to twelve hours a day. Pokéball tolerance varies by mandibuzz but most prefer to spend their day scavenging or socializing and their night near their trainer or teammates. The relative safety and comfort of pokéballs allow for neither and are therefore often rejected.

Mandibuzz are very caring Pokémon. They will look out for young teammates, children, and even their trainer. Several guides list mandibuzz as one of the best pokémon for households with young children as the birds will happily guard and play with infants, toddlers, and preteens. Teenagers hold less interest to mandibuzz, although teens going through goth, emo, or punk phases still manage to pique the bird’s attention due to the similarities between the fashion and their own plumage. Dark clothing, long (or no) hair, and many accessories are good ways to gain a mandibuzz or vullaby’s trust.

Illness

Between their powerful guts and obsessive grooming, mandibuzz almost never get sick. That does not mean that humans and other birds cannot get sick from them. Mandibuzz that scavenge naturally or eat raw meat tend to have a variety of illness-causing bacteria on their faces and in their droppings. Their waste should be handled with care and kept away from other birds. Cuddling and direct contact should only be done after a mandibuzz has had its face washed with warm water. Soap can irritate their skin and should be avoided.

Evolution

Vullaby grow in a series of growth spurts. Each can increase their weight by two to ten percent. These are very normal in vullaby and do not necessarily signal the approach of evolution. After large growth spurts mandibuzz (and trainers) must find the vullaby a new set of protective bone plating to wear. Around their fifth birthday vullaby begin to properly evolve. They will reject new sets of armor and gain thicker plumage over their entire body. Over the course of four to six months vullaby’s neck will grow much, much longer and their wings become stronger.

In the wild evolution grants a mandibuzz almost all rights and privileges of a member of the pride. A few move to a different pride at this time to preserve genetic diversity. Once courtship is completed and a mate is selected (see Breeding), mandibuzz lose their head tuft and become full adults.

Battle

Mandibuzz are bulky birds. Unfortunately for them, skarmory and corviknight are bulkier and have more offensive power through sharp beaks and wings. Mandibuzz have barely any power at all and are only really able to injure foes through toxic. While they are durable for birds, possessing relatively dense skeletons and external armor, they are still mid-sized birds relying on bone armor. On the competitive circuits most offensive pokémon will wear them down before succumbing to poison damage. In addition to the metallic birds, dragons, mantine, and gliscor all perform the same role with either better bulk or more offensive power to compensate.

On the island challenge mandibuzz are less restricted. For the first few islands they will have enough power to hurt their foes and at the end of the challenge they will still be bulky enough to use a combination of roost, protect, substitute, and toxic poisoning to stall out many opponents. Offensive moves such as dark pulse or heat wave can help wear down opponents. Pokémon that take no damage from most poisons can cause mandibuzz serious trouble.

Vullaby are quite capable of pulling off a similar strategy. What they lack in mobility is made up for by greater protection. Due to the need to move their body and a heavy external shell, when the shell is removed or chipped away they can move somewhat quickly and strike with more power than would be expected from a young bird. Nasty plot can help make vullaby either powerful bulky special attackers or relative glass cannons. Unfortunately, by the later islands vullaby will be too weak to do much damage to opponents even after a boost.

Acquisition

Mandibuzz prides are typically found near braviary companies along the coasts of Alola. Conversely to braviary, mandibuzz are fiercely protective of their offspring but often willing to accompany trainers themselves. Wild vullaby can only be obtained by humans who have been well accepted by a pride through frequent visits and occasional gifts of meat and bones. Mandibuzz have some understanding of human culture and will occasionally gift a chick to the child of a human they are very close to as the kid embarks on their journey.

For the most part mated mandibuzz are content to remain where they are. Unmated mandibuzz can sometimes be impressed by gifts of bones and displays of power and friendship with other birds, especially birds of prey such as braviary, noctowl, and talonflame. Trainers with interesting clothing or accessories also get more attention than those with boring style choices. Mandibuzz also have a fascination with transgender trainers (especially those who very recently started hormone replacement therapy), intersex trainers, and female presenting trainers in a relationship with another female-presenting person.

Vullaby eggs can be purchased from some breeders and specialty stores but they are often rather expensive. Both stages may be acquired with a Class III license.

Breeding

Mandibuzz courtship takes place over the course of months or years as a prospective pair spend increasingly more time around each other and give several gifts. Mutual grooming is common. When the relationship is consummated both birds lose their head crests. Mandibuzz are ground nesting birds in most of their range but tend to build slightly elevated nests in Alola to deal with rattata. Their nests can be up to three meters across and are at minimum big enough to hold several chicks and both adults. The nests are often decorated with bones and interesting looking and smelling artifacts and branches.

A pair usually produces one litter whenever all chicks have evolved. There is no set breeding season. In some pair one partner will always lay the eggs and the others will always fertilize them. Others switch between litters.

In captivity mandibuzz generally form their strongest bond with their trainer. This often entirely precludes proper pairing and mating unless both birds were raised by humans from before their evolution and come to view them as parents rather than mates. Because of this complication and the difficulty of obtaining wild vullaby, mandibuzz breeding is best left to professionals.

Subspecies

Mandibuzz are found across almost all of North and South America and have been introduced to Galar and Alola. Both regions have had the northeastern mandibuzz introduced as they are the only subspecies that naturally partners with braviary. Most subspecies are similar in appearance and ecological role to the northeastern mandibuzz even if they bond with other raptors.

The most visually distinct subspecies is the Amazonian mandibuzz. These birds have white feathers over almost all of their body except for a black fringe at the edge of their wings. They are best known for their colorful necks and faces. Blue, purple, red, yellow, green, and orange are found in some pattern on almost all Amazonian mandibuzz. Rather than bones, these birds primarily display and attract mates through their natural coloration. Due to their relationship with harpyre, Amazonian mandibuzz have fire resistant feathers and a remarkable tolerance for smoke inhalation. Their blood is full of toxic chemicals from the smoke and makes them even more dangerous to eat than most subspecies. The subspecies is currently the only one assigned a poison- and flying-typing.
 

Rediamond

Middle of nowhere
Primeape (Mankey)

Overview

Despite being among the closest pokémon relatives to humans, primate pokémon are some of the hardest to train. This is because humans have similar anatomy but often radically different mindsets than most other primates. Simple human behaviors such as eye contact and smiling can convince primate pokémon that they are facing a challenger to their mates, food, or territory.

Primeape are the textbook example for these problems. Eye contact or bared teeth will instantly set them on the warpath against other primates, humans included. Even intrusion into their space or being near the pokémon’s typical feeding area can lead to fights. Because primape are strong enough to break steel in a few hits these are not fights the trainer can win.

Primeape are not recommended for beginners. Experienced pokémon trainers with an abundance of patience, a gentle presence, and at least one other pokémon strong enough to shut down challenges might be interested in training one.

Physiology

Both evolutionary stages are classified as pure fighting-types. The ruling is not controversial.

Mankey have very thick fur that hides the general shape of their body and makes them appear substantially larger than they are. The fur on their paws and at the tip of their tail tends to be slightly darker than that on the rest of their body. Mankey have long and powerful limbs. Both their hands and feet have long digits that can be moved independently of each other. Mankey’s long tails are prehensile. Like primeape, mankey have large and prominent ears and pink noses that extend out of their fur.

In most ways primeape resemble a larger mankey. There are even scientists who argue that they should be merged into a single evolutionary stage. However, primeape have two notable external differences. First, primeape have pads over their buttocks referred to as sex glands. These are typically filled with blood and appear to be red. When a females ovulate her pads swell to signal her willingness to mate. Second, primeape’s tails are proportionally much shorter than those of mankey.

Primeape are built to be flushed with adrenaline for long periods of time without serious damage. Their muscles repair themselves quickly, they have powerful hearts and lungs, and blood can be diverted from their brain towards their muscles without many consequences as a fight wears on. This allows primeape to continue fights or pursue intruders for far longer than any other primate pokémon species can. Primape’s brains are almost uniquely capable of operating with minimal blood flow for extended periods of time.

Contrary to popular depictions, primeape and mankey are usually quadrupedal unless climbing or trying to make themselves appear bigger to intimidate opponents.

Male primeape can grow up to 1.2 meters long from their nose to the end of their tail. They can weigh up to 25 kilograms. Females seldom reach fifteen kilograms. Both males and females typically live for about forty years in the wild or sixty in captivity.

Behavior

Primeape live in strictly patriarchal troops. One male holds absolute authority and sires almost all children. The other males and females are kept in line. Non-dominant males in the troop behave much like females and assist in the childrearing of the troop’s children (see Breeding).

Unsuccessful challengers to a troop’s dominant male end in the challenger’s death. Successful challengers leave the dominant male alive and do not kill his children to help maintain the loyalty of the new troop. Formerly dominant males also assist in defending the troop or in hunts. When a male primeape evolves they are kicked out. The newly evolved pokémon has a right of challenge, although failure ends in death. As such this option is seldom taken. Primeape who do not challenge their troop’s dominant male will head out to find a bachelor troop or, rarely, a human trainer, and train in hopes of future conquest.

Genetic diversity in troops is maintained by “raids.” These occur when all male primeape in a troop attack another troop at night and drag female mankey back to their camp. In a rare display of female social power these mankey have the right to visit their old troop so long as they return to their new one by sundown. Mankey approaching evolution will sometimes steal infants away for the day in mock raids. If the baby is killed or seriously injured during the course of the practice raid the offending male will be publicly executed by dismemberment.

Despite their aggressive reputation, primeape are almost entirely herbivorous. All troop members forage for grains, vegetables, and fruit during the day. While primape are omnivorous most of the flesh they consume is insects and small non-pokémon animals. These hunts appear to be more for sport than nutrition. In times of extreme scarcity the males may band together to hunt larger pokémon. Because food is abundant in Alola this has never been observed in the archipelago.

Unlike the other primates in Alola, ambipom, passimian, and oranguru, primeape do not make their homes in the trees. Instead they live on cliffs, either inland or by the coast, and use their long limbs and prehensile tails to climb up and down the rockworks. Because they do not eat eggs coastal birds usually leave them alone. Primeape are only preyed upon by the largest predators in Alola. Of those only salamence and metagross regularly attack a troop in their home.

Like most primates, primeape engage in social grooming to build bonds and maintain cleanliness.

Husbandry

The difficult process of bonding with a mankey or primeape is detailed in the Acquisition section. This section deals exclusively with caring for a pokémon that is already relatively docile.

In captivity mankey and primeape should be fed a mix of nuts, berries, tubers, vegetables, and grain. Fresh food is best but dried or canned food can work when on the trail for less than a week. Primate biscuits are relatively expensive but make for good treats. Peanut butter, honey, and commercially available cereals also make for good treats. Treats are best administered in puzzles, such as PVC pipe systems that must be manipulated in certain ways to get the treat out or by placing the treat in a frozen block of ice.

Both stages should be groomed at least once a day every day to keep them relatively docile. The pokémon will occasionally attempt to groom their trainer’s back and should be allowed to do so. Primeape are surprisingly fond of small cute pokémon and will frequently play with them. This also helps keep them calm. Mirrors and very durable toys can work as enrichment objects. Rubber and metal playsets can also work so long as the pokémon is monitored to keep them from trying to eat inedible components. Very friendly primeape and mankey can be played with using laser pointers. Curiously, wind chimes have a very strong calming effect on primape.

The biggest difficulty in caring for the line, and primeape in particular, is avoiding accidental displays of aggression. Primeape communicate friendly intentions through grunts and tongue clicking. These should be done often around primeape and mankey. Screams, barks, eyebrow raising, staring, eye contact, teeth baring, yawning while looking at the pokémon, and hitting the ground signal aggression. Because barking is an aggressive signal it is best to not raise primeape and particularly exciteable canines on the same team. More withdrawn canines such as ninetales (but not vulpix), umbreon, and manectric can work as partners. Pokémon with a penchant for staring, such as mime sr., are incompatible with primeape.

Primeape are relatively intelligent and considerate pokémon when in a healthy relationship with their trainer. They are easily housebroken and will sometimes attempt to help with housework. While they can be trusted to babysit children and young pokémon, other help should be politely declined as primeape have a tendency to accidentally break objects.

Illness

Sick primeape and mankey often show similar symptoms to sick humans. Mild respiratory illnesses are best treated through humidity and Vitamin C. Anything more severe should be handled by a veterinarian as sick primeape can be incredibly temperamental.

The alpine primeape’s population has been sharply reduced over the last thirty years by an infectious venereal disease. Any male primeape that becomes infected with the bacteria will at minimum become sterile and will typically die slowly and painfully over the course of the next month. The Japanese government has prohibited the exportation or capture of alpine primeape since 1995 and has culled or removed most lowland primeape in the area to prevent the illness from spreading. The quarantine procedures have been successful, if controversial, as of press time.

Evolution

Mankey typically evolve around their second birthday. Unlike most species frequent battle does not result in faster growth rates. The formal demarcation of evolution and the point where male primeape are kicked out of the troop and female primeape are eligible reproductive partners is the first swelling of the sex glands.

Battle

Primeape, and especially the Chinese primeape, are ferocious battlers with very strong attacks. Outside of China they are still relatively unpopular choices due to the difficulty in training them. Other fighting-types such as machamp and hariyama can hit even harder and tank more hits. Primeape’s agility is impressive, but hawlucha are stronger and faster than primeape and have the ability to take to the air. Furthermore, even well-trained primeape are known to ignore orders during the heat of battle.

Hawlucha are banned from most state-sanctioned tournaments in China. The ban, combined with the cultural significance of primeape (see Subspecies), has led to primeape being reasonably popular as a revenge killer and wallbreaker. Their ability to jump rather high in the air and strike birds with a thunder or ice energy-infused punch makes primeape relatively effective anti-air pokémon.

Any trainer who can command a primeape is unlikely to need it on the island challenge. In any case, primeape and mankey function best when they hit hard and fast and never give the opponent a moment to rest. More complicated strategies are generally inadvisable because primeape may ignore critical orders and doing anything other than attacking gives opponents a chance to exploit the pokémon’s relative frailty. Training should focus on power, jumping, and use of elemental moves.

Acquisition

Primeape are most commonly found on the coastal cliffs of Melemele and Poni. During the day they can be found in plains and forests near their home base. There are two approaches to capturing one. Recently evolved male primeape and male mankey close to evolution will sometimes challenge a nearby trainer to test their strength. If the trainer is successful, the pokémon will agree to come along with relatively little fuss. As male primeape are larger than females and this approach involves less resistance, it is the better path when possible. Unfortunately it requires relying on a primeape or mankey to make a given decision.

Proactive primeape hunting must target females. This approach, as well as the first, works better for male trainers. If a female primeape is found hunting alone she can be ambushed. After a few attacks land, capture can be attempted. This simulates a raid and makes the female more inclined to trust their trainer than they might otherwise be. However, if the trainer plans to frequently leave the primeape’s home range they will break the implicit promises that underpin raids in the wild. This will cause the female to become extremely rebellious for several months or even years.

Calming primeape down requires acting in a dominant role. Many trainers mistake dominance for cruelty, which it is not. Instead trainers should set clear boundaries and enforce them through mild punishments. A stronger pokémon than the primeape should be kept on hand for at least the first few weeks in order to quash challenges. Rewards and attempted bonding should be more common than punishments. Eventually the primeape will give in and start accepting treats and grooming. Many trainers are initially scared that this is only an act of deception but primeape seldom bother to hide their true intentions. Rejecting attempts at reconciliation will only drive the primeape further away.

Mankey can be captured with a Class IV license or adopted or purchased with a Class III. Primeape require a Class IV license to obtain.

Breeding

In the wild female primeape in heat will approach the dominant male and display her sex glands. Occasionally a formerly dominant male will elope with a female in secret. This is one of the few times that primeape engage in deceptive behavior.

Pregnancy typically lasts ten to twelve weeks at which point a single mankey will be born. All members of the troop collectively care for the children. Surprisingly even the males are very fond of infants and will let the baby crawl all over them. Zoo populations have been known to treat small pokémon that enter their enclosure as beloved pets. Trainer-owned primeape often help raise smaller or younger pokémon and are even competent at caring for human infants.

Captive breeding is not recommended outside of zoos. Males that lead a troop tend to behave very aggressively towards all humans, including formerly trusted trainers.

Subspecies

Buddhist monks brought lowland primeape to Alola in the early Nineteenth Century. These primeape are native to the central regions of Japan. Unlike the Alolan population they tend to live on the walls of canyons and in the rocky cliffs near glacial highlands.

Alpine primeape are native to the mountains of Sinnoh. They are well known for their fluffy white fur and fondness for bathing in hot springs. Far and away the calmest subspecies, alpine primeape routinely venture into small settlements on Mt. Tengan. They are a tourist attraction in Kannagi Town due to their fearlessness. Locals are very tolerant of the pokémon and they have historically protected each other from threats. The alpine primeape conservation program is formally based in Kannagi, although most of the employees work in the larger city of Tobari.

Chinese primeape are the largest and most famous subspecies due to their prominent role in Chinese folklore. Buddhist monks in particular have a long history of raising primeape. Managing to bond with creatures famous for their powerful rage was a sign of spiritual power. Conveniently, the primeape also made powerful allies in eras where Buddhism was disfavored.

Chinese primeape are classified as dual fighting- and fairy-types due to the variety of strange tricks they can wield, such as distorting the size of objects. Magic, while a nebulous concept in and of itself, is often associated with the Chinese primeape. They are said to have been the guardians of heaven and the peaks. Chinese primeape are one of the few pokémon known to practice agriculture and have selectively bred peaches for millennia.
 

Rediamond

Middle of nowhere
Delibird

Overview

Delibird are known as compassionate healers, guides, and messengers. A variety of arctic peoples used tame delibird to communicate between tribes separated by inhospitable tundras or frozen seas. Their playful demeanor and colorful appearance led to them being adopted as messengers of The Northern Saint by the Church of Life. Although the Church has phased out delibird’s use as sacred messengers following recent discoveries the birds remain a worldwide symbol of winter, gift giving, and holiday celebrations.

The species is undeniably playful but their gregarious nature and relatively low power make them a poor choice for trainers on the island challenge.

Physiology

Delibird are classified as dual ice- and flying-type pokémon.

A thick coat of short red feathers covers most of delibird’s body. A “beard” of fluffy white feathers extends below delibird’s face. Two crests of very long white feathers extend above the eyes like eyebrows. Delibird’s beak is covered in white and red stripes. While not as big as toucannon, the beak of and adult is big enough to store at least two wishiwashi. The size and shape of the Alolan delibird’s beak is not seen in other subspecies and is believed to come from interbreeding with toucannon. Delibird have yellow webbed feet.

While their wings are proportionally small, delibird can control their descent and maintain altitude to a degree. Flight is primarily used to get down from their nest to the water or to make a particularly powerful jump when scaling cliffs. Alternatively, delibird can get airborne for mid-distance low altitude flights with a running start. Delibird are primarily aquatic and can dive up to one hundred meters.

Delibird are the only known bird with a prehensile tail. This is used to wrap up berries, fish, and interesting objects while exploring or returning to the nest. The tail of Alolan delibird is smaller than their arctic counterparts, but is still large enough to wrap up a wishiwashi or a few berries.

Adults are about one meter in height and typically weigh three kilograms. They have a life expectancy of six years in the wild or ten in captivity.

Behavior

Delibird are gregarious and live in carols of fifteen to fifty birds. However, they hunt alone. Most of delibird’s diet is made up of fish and invertebrates, including small water- and bug-type pokémon. They hunt by either flying just above the surface until they see prey or by diving and chasing prey underwater. Hunting takes up most of a delibird’s waking hours. The remainder is spent socializing with other birds and exploring their surroundings.

Even by bird standards, delibird are curious. They are prone to making and playing games with other delibird and even other species, going onto land to try new berries, and using seashells and stones as toys. Their curiosity or gregarious nature leads them to approach humans and pokémon and exchange gifts or attempt to play. When pokémon, including prey species, are starving delibird will occasionally share some of their catch with them. This habit combined with the relatively low nutritional value of delibird leads to the birds having almost no regular predators.

While Alolan delibird are not properly migratory, pairs and unpaired subadults sometimes move between carols on separate islands. Delibird can determine their location using Earth’s magnetic field and use this information to return to places they have been before.

Spending more than a few days away from cool water will lead to overheating.

Husbandry

Delibird captivity is best handled by well-resourced stationary individuals able to raise at least ten delibird at once. When held alone or in very small groups delibird grow stressed and begin to develop health problems. Climate control is also important to delibird and makes it very difficult to care for them while on the trails of Alola. Freeze balls help mitigate the problem but delibird dislike pokéballs and will not tolerate even freeze balls for more than an hour or two a day. When possible delibird should be kept in quarters that are sixty degrees or cooler. Cold baths in room temperature areas can also satisfy the bird.

If a trainer wants to raise a single delibird than it is recommended to keep other birds on the team. At least three hours a day should be spent either directly playing with the delibird or being present while other birds play with the pokémon. Enrichment objects should be purchased frequently enough that the pokémon never grows bored with all of their toys. The pokémon will almost always want to sleep in their trainer’s bed. Mirrors make for good enrichment items that also have a calming effect on delibird held as individuals. Ditto are the best teammates for alleviating social stress.

About 80% of delibird’s diet should be made up of fish. Most fish are preferred whole, but individual birds may prefer certain species cut down to smaller sizes. The remaining 20% should be made up of insect mixes, shrimp, crabs, or brine shrimp. Zooplankton mixes, while somewhat expensive, also work. Many large facilities keep zooplankton and crabs living in the diving pond for enrichment purposes. Berries make for good treats but should not be a routine part of the bird’s diet. Delibird should be offered a little bit more than they will eat. Only birds with a history of starvation will regularly overeat. Drinking water is unnecessary but occasionally used for either proper drinks or as a toy.

Climbing structures and water at least seven feet deep should be provided whenever possible. Most large pokémon centers have bunk beds and pools which can satisfy both needs. Delibird should be exposed to salt water at least once every two weeks to keep their salt glands functional. If this is not possible small amounts of salt should be added to their drinking water or baths.

Delibird can be housebroken, although the process usually takes several weeks. It is easier if another housebroken bird is already on the team. Toucannon tend to be bad influences on delibird and make housebreaking nearly impossible.

Captive delibird held in large carols are often used as messengers to deliver small packages and letters between cities and islands. In the winter they are often taken to malls. Their bright colors, curiosity, and relative comfort with humans make them popular with children. The best way to train a delibird to be a carrier is for another delibird to teach them. This is not recommended for traveling trainers as the stress of separation can cause negative health impacts on the removed pokémon.

Illness

Delibird are frequent carriers of avian influenza. While the disease is relatively benign in delibird it can spread and do serious damage to other teammates. Vaccination is strongly encouraged. Bumblefoot is a more common problem than avian influenza in stationary carols. The disease manifests as sores on the bottom of delibird’s feet. While not contagious, if one delibird in a carol has it most probably will develop it in time. The best remedy for bumblefoot is preventive management: slightly rough surfaces should replace very rough and very smooth ones. This better replicates their natural cliff homes.

Angel wing is the most common health problem among fledging delibird. Sometimes feathers come in before the wing has fully developed. The weight of the feathers can cause permanent damage to the delibird’s wing. Fledglings should be routinely inspected and slings should be provided as necessary.

Delibird generally do everything in their power to mask their injuries and keep acting as if nothing is wrong. By the time any symptoms, such as deviation in weight or weakness or pain in a given area, is visible to the trainer the problem is already serious and should be treated by a professional as soon as possible.

When a delibird living in a stationary carol develops a contagious disease or is about to be introduced to a carol or reintroduced after exposure to toher birds, they must be quarantined. The quarantine process is unpleasant for delibird as they must be alone for some time. Taking multiple delibird on trips can at least allow them to be quarantined together. Otherwise mirrors or exposures to live or recorded delibird sounds can help calm the isolated bird. Toys, climbing structures, and a pool deep enough to swim in should be in the quarantine room.

Evolution

N/A

Battle

In conspecific and interspecies aggression, delibird tend to rely on puffing up their feathers and making noise. If neither side backs down delibird employ bites, pecks, or weak ice attacks. While delibird have elemental wells they are not particularly deep. While delibird are technically a pokémon many baseline animals can beat them in a fight. As such only delibird deliberately trained to battle have any skill at all. Needless to say that outside of scripted holiday specials no ranked trainer has ever been seen using a delibird.

On the island challenge delibird isn’t useless. They make for decent arena controllers between spikes and icy wind. While their flight isn’t good enough to make them untouchable it can be used to dodge telegraphed attacks and hit a little bit harder than they otherwise could. By the time the second island ends delibird will start to become less useful. Trainers raising a delibird should do so in spite of its power and not because of it.

Acquisition

Delibird can be found in in the cool waters around Mt. Lanakila and Kala’e Bay. Due to recent declines in the Ula’Ula population capture is restricted to Melemele. Delibird can sometimes be found out at sea but capture is prohibited more than one hundred meters from land. Birds that do not wish to be caught will sometimes make a dash to the ocean when a trainer confronts them. Delibird can be captured or purchased with a Class II license.

The birds can be purchased from established carols on Melemele, Akala, and Ula’Ula. Adoption opportunities are rare as injured or abandoned delibird tend to be donated to privately owned carols.

Breeding

While once popular with the Church of Life, delibird have been quietly abandoned as an official symbol after research found that roughly half of delibird are accidentally gay. The only way to determine the sex of a delibird is through DNA testing or minor surgery. Apparently delibird cannot determine the sex of other birds. Several zoroark, primarina, and psychics have translated delibird as saying that this is not a problem as the information would be useless. The reason delibird give for the question’s irrelevance is that they do not know their own sex until they either lay an egg or fertilize one.

Delibird mate for life. Couples find a small tunnel in a cave or in a cliffface and set up their nest there. In anticipation of the summer breeding season all delibird undergo a full molt and are temporarily flightless and featherless. It is illegal to capture or otherwise disturb them during this time. Delibird’s summer plumage is more vibrant than their winter coloration, which is somewhat ironic given their cultural associations. The linkage of delibird and winter is because the Europeans only saw delibird when they migrated south to avoid the bitter cold.

Fertile couples lay a single egg every season. Infertile couples stay together even after realizing their mistake but tend to help fertile couples in guarding their eggs and gathering food. The eggs are viciously guarded from all interlopers. This season is when delibird are most aggressive to outsiders. Capture is legal but discouraged in early May. Trainers should only enter Seaward Cave and the coastal caves of Lanakila during these weeks if they are prepared to be swarmed by angry birds. Eggs take forty days to hatch and forty days to fledge. Babies are typically abandoned by their parents thirty to sixty days after hatching.

Captive delibird breeding requires the provision of at least 1, and ideally 1.5, nest boxes per pairs. If at all possible an even number of delibird should be owned. Unpaired birds tend to become very aggressive up to the point of sabotaging other nests and destroying eggs. Incubation of eggs and hand raising of chicks is possible and the resulting pokémon tend to acclimate well to private carols, but not the wild. Delibird reared by their parents do adjust well to the wild and these chicks play a major role in restoring the Ula’ula population.

Subspecies

Delibird subspecies can be sorted into four groups.

The Alolan delibird is the only tropical subspecies. It is not presently understood when and how delibird arrived on the islands. They were already present when Japanese settlers arrived and, according to Alolan folklore, they were present when the Seafolk arrived as well. Temperate delibird do not migrate far enough to reach Alola and polar delibird would die from overheating well before reaching the mid-Pacific.

Temperate delibird live year-round in the mid-latitudes of the North Atlantic. Typically a carol will be permanently based out of an area infused with ice-energy or directly cooled by other pokémon. While members will often swim away from the carol’s home to find food they typically return by sundown. Some temperate subspecies have barely functional salt glands due to swimming almost exclusively in glacial meltwater or underground rivers.

There are two subspecies of polar delibird, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic. The Atlantic population tends to overwinter in Iceland, Greenland, and other northern islands. They migrate as far south as Africa during the summer but are rarely seen near the coast. Both polar delibird subspecies spend almost all of their lives alone at sea, only returning to land and their mates for a few months every summer. The Pacific delibird are less migratory with summer breeding occurring in Kamatchka and Alaska and winter migration bringing birds to Japan and Oregon. Some interbreeding with temperate subspecies has been reported.

The Himalayan delibird is perhaps the strangest subspecies, in no small part because they only live hundreds of kilometers inland and are barely aquatic. They are the largest subspecies and have the most developed wings. Himalyan delibird take shelter on the steep cliffs of crevasses. While they do sometimes break into frozen or temporarily thawed lakes to fish, these delibird primarily eat small non-pokémon mammals, eggs, and plants. The pokémon are considered sacred wardens of the mountains and capture or export is strictly prohibited. The few captive specimens were injured or otherwise unable to survive in the wild. They are held in the Kathmandu Zoo on loan from the Nepalese government.
 
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