Minor kites are mammalian in appearance and about a meter in length. They accompany major kites, gliding in similar fashion and feeding on larger flying animals that majors don’t eat, as well as defending major kites from pack predators and parasites. Minor kites have a furry body with bare flying membranes, much like bats or Colugos. They have sharp teeth and raptor claws that they use to snatch prey from the air. Their fur color can be monochrome from gray to white, or colourful – sometimes green or blue, depending on geography. Their bare skin ranges from beige to dark gray.
They have powerful visual acuity and stereoscopic vision common to raptor species such as hawks. Because they traverse their planet’s twilight region, they are adapted to both low-light and bright-light environments, often spending days flying through one or the other.
Their sense of smell is also very advanced, allowing them to sense their prey in high wind environments. Their hearing acuity is about the same as humans, though slightly skewed to higher frequencies. Minor kites have teeth and tongues, and communicate using similar palates to humans. Minor kites and humans are linguistically compatible: their languages rely on roughly similar vocalizations. This allows the two species to speak each others’ languages without artificial assistance.
Couldn’t resist adding a link for a song by The Radio Department that starts with the sound sample “is it difficult you two living together?”
Minor and Major kites are so well adapted to each other that major kites have rough patches on their backs that allow minors to latch on with their claws. In this way, minors can ride major kites in flight. This gives the smaller creatures time to rest while still in the air as their raptor hunting is more energy consuming than the major kites’ basking. Minor kites will also latch on to major when at rest and will form long term bonds. A major kite might accommodate anywhere from one to four minors living on it. In return minor kites dote after their major kite hosts: cleaning them, removing their parasites, and even tending to wounds.