Male and female Gharian wedding birds

A Gharian wedding bird was a non-sentient avian lifeform with blue plumage and red-colored heads. Their name suggested that they might be native to the Ghar system.

They walked on two legs like an Earth ostrich and seemed incapable of flight. The females’ bodies were about 18 inches long, legs about one foot long, with wings about 2 to 2.5 feet long. The males were larger. During mating season, when not in the presence of females, male birds would become hyper-aggressive and expand to four times their normal size.

The wedding birds were endangered in the Federation in the 23rd century. A carefully controlled habitat for the birds was maintained on the Federation wildlife preserve planet Salvum.

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In 2267, the crew of a mysterious transport ship gassed the staff of the preserve and stole all of the male Gharian wedding birds from their habitat just prior to mating season. Montgomery Scott believed that the birds had been taken to the non-aligned asteroid Grotus because the wedding birds would have been perfect for cockfighting, their favorite type of gambling. Despite traveling incognito to Grotus, Scott was quickly captured by hoods working for Zarcun-5 and forced into a large arena to face a male bird. As the spectators bet on Scott’s survival and the aggressive bird began to attack, Spock heard the commotion outside the arena and had a female wedding bird beamed down into the arena. As soon as the male saw the female, it calmed and shrank back to its normal size, and then Scott fled with the birds before they could be stoned by disappointed spectators. (TOS comic: "Sport of Knaves")

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