Birds are part of every game in the Age of Empires series. Most of them are background elements or decoys, not affecting the game in the slightest. Some birds, like the Turkey from Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III, are sources of food.
Age of Empires Edit
In Age of Empires, birds can be hunted down by a Villager. Once the animal is killed, it creates an impact similar to a "crashing projectile of a siege weapon." The animal has 4 hit points but do not contain food. Examples of birds include Hawks and Eagles. Since birds do not provide food, all birds are used as a decor to make the game look more realistic.
Age of Empires II Edit
Once again, certain non-interactable birds make their appearance in the second game, such as Hawks, the Macaws (introduced in The Conquerors, appearing in American maps), Vultures and Storks (introduced in The African Kingdoms, appearing in maps set in Sub-Saharan Africa). Rather than being an essential gameplay element, these add to the game's atmosphere, as decorations.
Unlike in the first game however, two birds are edible, namely the Turkey and the Ostrich. The first one is available as a herdable in Central American maps, whereas the second is a huntable in African maps.
Age of Mythology Edit
In Age of Mythology, non-edible birds are more interactable, as they count as units and can be killed in some occasions, most notably when a Zeus player invokes Lightning Storm. These birds include Hawks and Vultures, who appear on Snowy/Grassland and Desert maps respectively. On the other hand, Seagulls are set as embellishment objects, not as units. Tale of the Dragon introduced Parrots that appear in Jungle maps.
Not unlike Age of Empires II, two edible birds make their appearance; the Chicken and the Crowned Crane, both as huntables. Tale of the Dragon also introduces Ducks, which are similar to Chickens. The Domestication technology, available to followers of Fu Xi, increases the gather rate for Ducks and Chickens by 30%, making this the only technology that affects the gather rate for specific huntables.
Originally Harpies were intended to be Hades' unique scout (Appearing as the Harpy Scout in the Tale of the Dragon scenario editor) and Vultures as Egyptian flying scouts.
Age of Empires III Edit
Apart from two edible birds, the Rhea and the Turkey, the game also features an enormous variety of decorative birds, whose appearance varies on the featured maps, often their native habitats. It should be noted that they technically count as units, and can be moved around in the Editor, but are otherwise non-interactable and cannot be hunted.
These birds are non-edible and only serve decorative purposes; they are all available in various maps and are also provided in the Scenario Editor:
- Bar-Headed Geese
- Canada Geese
- Snowy Owls
Concerning the edible birds, it should be noted that Turkeys provide 500 food, and are easily killed by a Blunderbuss-boosted Settler, so it is recommended to prefer Turkeys, rather than foraging Berry Bushes or hunting Capybaras, in maps that have them (such as Yucatán or Caribbean).
Rheas on the other hand provide 400 food and are found in large herds, similarly to most huntables, such as Deer.