Margaret's emblem (properly known as the Flying Grace) depicts the Lowalaa, a bird traditionally symbolizing trust, caring, beauty, and loyalty. It earned this reputation tor its many positive characteristics. Lowalaas are common pets, especially among nobility, in the regions of the Imperium stretching from Delphi to the thumb of the Great Rift. The Lowalaa homeworld is Ituxi (Delphi 0722 AA79555-E). It was transplanted to Anaxias (Delphi 0724 A253A85-D) during the First Imperium to control the local equivalent of insects. Its ability to adapt to the new environment was underestimated. The Lowalaa population rapidly exceeded that on Ituxi, making it the most common aviform on Anaxias. The most remarkable characteristic of the Lowalaa is its colorful plumage, for which the Lasias Lowalaa is particularly noted. Each bird will display different colors and patterns, a visual history of the food sources to which it was exposed. In the wild, birds with certain markings will be looked to as guides depending on the nutritional needs of the flock. In captivity, however, their diet is managed with extreme care so as to create the desired effects. Feeding the birds different off-world goods has yielded striking results. Special additives have even made such things as silver or luminous birds. But use of artificial chemicals in the diet is usually disallowed in formal competition. Another ability, most pronounced in the Thrumet Lowalaa, is mimicry. Lowalaas do not have the same vocal fidelity as some Terran birds. However, it is very receptive to learning short tunes. This talent also extends to learning somatic patterns – in effect, dancing. Using bird puppets as training aids, entertainment troops have devised some very impressive acts with Lowalaas. Their intelligence and trainability are chiefly credited for the Lowalaa's popularity, both as pets and as working birds. On low tech worlds, they are often used as very dependable messengers and spatters. The Lowalaa is highly adaptable. It can adjust to environmental extremes very well, but not to solitude. Its health will soon fail if a Lowalaa is frequently left alone. For this reason, they are often kept in mated pairs. Lowalaas mate for life and readily breed in captivity. Females will lay a clutch of two to five eggs every two to 12 months in the wild, varying with the world. Breeders, however, can hasten the mating cycle or halt it indefinitely. Lowalaas are very flexible in the construction of nests, even having been known to use electric wire and mylar tape to good effect. Once the eggs are laid, both the male and female become very defensive of their nest, with other Lowalaas joining in. It's a rare owner who is permitted to touch the eggs. Eggs travel well in low berths. A standard low berth will carry 1500 eggs. Each egg has a base trade value of Cr1, although live Lowalaas are usually priced in the range of Cr200 to Cr1200 each. Lasias Lowalaas go for anywhere between Cr30 and Cr10,000 or higher, depending on the reputation of the breeder and the awards the bird has won. Lasias Lowalaas are never put in low berths, since the process often discolors the plumage. Lowalaas have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. In the Rebellion era, blue and white Lowalaas, with some black markings (Margaret's colors), have become very popular in Massilia and Delphi. Popularity of Lowalaas is also on the rise elsewhere. The blue and white patterning is not as common since it could be viewed as politically antagonistic.
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