Welcome back to the world of birds! I may not be a real bird professor, but I'm definitely a bird fan. If you didn't see last week's blog, we've got a trending topics special: Identifying the bird-type pokemon that (theoretically) appear in recent smash hit Pokemon Go. Check out part 1 here, and then come on back. Make sure you save your game and change your gameboy's batteries, because these are some birds you won't want escaping.
Defining characteristics: definitely a duck, brown coloring, black brow, yellow bill
Who's that pokebird? Mottled Duck
I was hoping to find a duck with Farfetch'd distinctive tuft, but there was no bird that had both that and his coloring. I feel like this is a pretty good match, at least better than Golduck from last week. One fan on facebook pointed out that the Psyduck line might resemble more of a platypus than a bird. Blasphemy for a monster with 'duck' in its name? It might be more possible than you would imagine, since the etymology is not especially on point in pokemon, especially in the first game.
Defining characteristics: flightless, thin beak, brown, long legs, two heads..
Who's that pokebird? North Island Brown Kiwi
This is for sure a Kiwi and bears little to no resemblance to its namesake, the dodo. A very good match as far as shape, color, and beak, there's little doubt in my mind. Historical evidence of a kiwi with two heads is lacking, but we can allow for a little fantastical element in this, a video game. It's not going to get any better from here on out, that's for sure.
Defining characteristics: crest, long sharp beak, elongated tail, often depicted running
Who's that pokebird? Greater Roadrunner
Ok, so I'm not super satisfied with this one. There is simply no bird that matches the unique coloration pattern of dodrio (brown on top, black on the bottom, red tail). I was unsatisfied with my options among flightless birds, but the body shape never felt right, and none had crests. I settled on Greater Road Runner eventually, as I felt it best captured the je ne sais quoi of Dodrio. In my research I did learn of a species of flightless rail who lives someplace called Inaccessible Island. It's name? The Inaccessible Island Rail. Marvelous.
Defining characteristics: blueish, distinctive crest, long tail, powerful wings, appears to be a bird of prey
Who's that pokebird? Harpy Eagle
I think this guy looks great. You can even find some pictures where the blue-ness is played up. What eventually sealed it for me was those head feathers, despite this guy living in South American Jungles. Other good options included the Gyrfalcon and Stellar's Sea Eagle, who actually live in icy environments, but the coloring and shape made the Harpy Eagle the best match. It also helps that it's an insanely large bird, befitting of legendary status.
Defining characteristics: yellow, black elements, pointed beak, splayed feathers
Who's that pokebird? Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker
I know I just talked about it working out nicely that a large, imposing bird should be the inspiration for a legendary, but this guy is just totally in the woodpecker family. This is backed up by one of his signature moves being 'drill peck', something neither of the other legendary birds learn. This might be the best match of all, and if a Yellow-shafted Flicker got struck by lightning, who can say for sure that it wouldn't turn into this. If you wanted a little bit of a fancier alternative, maybe I can interest you in a Greater Bird-of-paradise.
Defining characteristics: reddish coloring, wildly bushy feathers, angry eye, sharp + pointed beak
Who's that pokebird? Reddish Egret
Egrets? I've had a few. And this bird clearly is one. He's at least in that crane/egret/heron family somewhere, as indicated by body/neck/head shape. I went with Reddish Egret for obvious coloration reasons. There are redder options such as Roseate Spoonbill or Scarlet Ibis, but they lacked the right beak shape.
Whew, there sure are a lot of these things... birds I mean. At least they don't come out with another new hundred you have to catch every few years. I think for now I'll be refraining from IDing the 'mon from the next generations, mostly because they got a lot more obvious. I mean, do you really need amateurnithologist telling you that Pidove is a dove or that Noctowl is an owl? Well, never say never, I suppose. Until next time, may you bird them all.