I've been researching birds as magical creatures as part of the development of the character of OuijaBird.

Before we developed manned flight birds were strange and magical creatures. They would fly away out of sight to a place we could only imagine. And we imagined many wonderful things. Heavens and palaces and mystical lands.

Birds could also talk. The were the natural choice for messengers of the gods. Traditions of fortune-telling birds grew up all over the world. Reading the patterns of seeds left on a tray after a bird had eaten from them. Reading the shapes of flocks of birds. Or having birds choose you a written fortune.

These fortune telling birds often live in elaborate cages.

There is also a tradition of bird automata from Hero of Alexandria to the magical props of Robert-Houdin. There's a good brief history here.

OuijaBird needs to be more mysterious than IdeoBird but not too Gothic. OuijaBird's interactions are less easy to understand and, like all oracles, she needs to be interpreted to have meaning. I want her to have something of Max Ernst's bird-character Loplop about her. Something Surreal in the true sense of the word. Something slightly jarring.