The Piper Bird is a small bird found commonly along the southern, sandy shores of the island.
The Piper Bird is a small, sparrow sized bird. Primarily two toned, the Piper is a sandy, tan color on the majority of it's body with a lighter white underbelly. Markings include a black stripe across it's eyes and a black bar along the wing. Short yellow bill is marked with a black tip, legs are yellow. It ranges from 6.75–7 in (17.1–18 cm) in length, with a wingspan of 18–18.75 in (46–47.6 cm).
The various vocalizations are what give the bird it's name, from a trilled peerpeerpeer when flying to a series of notes likened to a person playing a set of pan-pipes, the Piper Bird is perhaps the most commonly heard shorebird along the Yuriban beaches. During the late spring mating season a dominant bird will settle upon a high perch in as open a space as it can, be it on a rock in the middle of the sand or a piece of driftwood, and frequently sing for hours on end to impress the bird (or birds) that it wishes to mate with.
Habitat, Behavior and Diet
During the day the Piper Bird is most often found on the wide beaches, spending time moving about on the wave moistened sand searching for a variety of marine worms, insects and small crustaceans and their eggs. Nests are built closer to the grasses near the edge of the beach or other windbreaks, sheltered from the near constant ocean winds, the birds often laying only two to three eggs and most commonly only raising two chicks to maturity. During the late spring, spans of beach will be broken up into territories with one dominant bird overseeing a small harem of others, the strongest birds controlling the most ideal habitat of an even combination of open shore and nesting sites. During the winter flocks will form and will migrate from the open ocean beaches into the mangroves and up into the forest along the river, adjusting it's diet to vegetation, subsisting off of river algae and water plants in the unfrozen parts of the river and searching for the Snow Flea on open snow.
Yuriban religious tradition holds that the Piper Bird learned it's song while observing Amanohara playing a flute while dancing over the ocean waves, while the goddess was teasing Issui to get her help in creating a rainstorm; it's said that when the birds sing the most vigorously that they coax the goddesses to bring the summer rains.