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contrary to most modern depictions of Sirens. my Sirens are based off some of the earlier bird-like depictions. enter image description here

some basic characteristics of my Sirens include:

  • are carnivores
  • nest on small, rocky islands scattered throughout the sea
  • are 1.2 meters tall
  • capable of flight
  • have surprisingly human like faces
  • have long human-like hair made out of feathers
  • are slightly more intelligent than a parrot
  • have parrot level mimicry, which they use with a mix of pheromones to attract their pray
  • nest on small, rocky islands scattered throughout the sea

Given these characteristics, what species of bird could they have evolved from, and what evolutionary pressures would lead to them?

NOTE: magic does not exist in my world

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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Because it seems to have a lot of similarities, differing mostly due to a few extra traits you'd like (like nesting in Rocky islands) which are still completely believable and already observed in real birds. $\endgroup$ – ProjectApex Jul 27 '20 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ @ProjectApex kinda. but i doesn't explain how a bird could use sound to lure in its prey. $\endgroup$ – icewar1908 Jul 27 '20 at 1:09
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    $\begingroup$ maybe this would be what you're seeking to give your sirens their song? Many animals already mimic vocal, visual and/or chemical traits of other species which they prey on, so it still sounds completely believable. $\endgroup$ – ProjectApex Jul 27 '20 at 1:11
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    $\begingroup$ @ProjectApex i guess it the mixture of all these traits and intelligence that i'm interested about. also maybe "Could my Sirens exist?" wasn't a proper title. $\endgroup$ – icewar1908 Jul 27 '20 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ Well answering your question: yeah, crows have problem solving skills and can mimic human speech (as can parrots and ravens), most of the traits you've asked already exist in modern birds and we have questions explaining specifically how a bird could resemble a human. Your siren seems to be pretty plausible without requiring any large amounts of handwavium. $\endgroup$ – ProjectApex Jul 27 '20 at 1:30
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Your description immediately made me think of the harpies. So it would not seem entirely out of the picture to imagine these sirens of yours being an evolution of the "harpy eagle" a species that recalls the human face in an almost disturbing way, moreover, given its size, it would not detach too much from the size you mention. I also don't believe that such a creature is impossible in your world. The "what" led to the evolution of these creatures could be interpreted in dozens of different ways. For example, if your world was (as I try to guess ...) set in an "ancient Greece" that lasts for thousands of years, it could be that these Harpy Eagle were in an intimate relationship with the human being (like cats for the ancient Egyptians ...) and have therefore, in tens of thousands of years, evolved the facial similarity with the human being. Otherwise, looking at it from the opposite point of view, it could be that these creatures were hunted relentlessly, and therefore evolved to "fight" humans through an emotional mimesis. I hope I have been useful to get some ideas!

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Yes, but make them mammals. Assume they are simply a species of large bat with human-like faces and the rest of it falls into place. Just as flying foxes have a surprisingly fox-like faces, these have human features.

The story about having an attractive song is is a complete blind.

What the sirens really do is wait for dark or bad weather (because bats are good at flying in limited visibility) and fly close to ships, or hang from yardarms and issue orders -- "hard to port!" "Rocks ahead, ten points starboard" "belay that order" "mutineers on the poop deck!" "abandon ship, abandon ship!" -- and attempt to get the ship to wreck itself, or get men to jump overboard.

As soon as the crew speak up they will imitate their voices and create more confusion. "Man overboard!" "Help, I'm drowning" "Fire in the starboard hold, save yourselves!"...

This is why sirens are always found on rocky shores with lots of submerged hazards and dangerous currents.

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