The kyphaw has the wings, feathers, talons, and basic shape of a giant, man-sized bird of prey, but its head is broad, covered in fine fur, and features a mouthful of sharp predator’s teeth that give it a feline appearance. A final feline touch is the long, lion-like tail that twitches nervously whenever the creature is perched.
The grasslands of Lashon and Duluth are the prime hunting grounds for the kyphaw, though some are found in the mountains of Frinth as well. In the plains, they make their nests from grass and brush far from watering holes and common animal paths. Their nests are always well-camouflaged; a person could walk right by one and not know it is there.
Kyphaw mate for life and live in mated pairs. The mates take turns hunting. While one hunts, the other protects the nest and any eggs or hatchlings it may hold. Kyphaws hunt by stalking their prey from far overhead. When the time is right, they dive at a tremendous speed, latch onto their prey in their talons, and swoop back into air with it. They drop the prey from a great height, killing it, and then bring the carcass back to the nest to share with their families.
Female kyphaws lay one egg at a time, once a year. The egg hatches after two months, and the hatchling learns to fly a few months later. Hatchlings stay with their parents for about a year. After that, they leave the nest to find their own mates and their own hunting territories.
Territory is important to kyphaws. They do not tolerate another hunting pair in their territory, though a solitary kyphaw may pass through unmolested.