|"Tallpaw understood why [Palebird] always seemed so distant. If she didn't let herself feel anything, she might protect herself from her grief for Finchkit."|
|— Tallpaw about his mother in Tallstar's Revenge, page 201|
Palebird was a WindClan warrior under Heatherstar’s leadership in the forest territories. She was a former tunneler, and the mother of Tallstar. Alongside Tallkit, she gave birth to a daughter, Finchkit, whose early death struck Palebird hard, causing her relationship with her son to be distant. She remained a queen even after he left the nursery, and when her mate, Sandgorse, was killed in a cave-in, Palebird found happiness with Woollytail. The two had four kits: Wrenkit, Flykit, Bristlekit, and Rabbitkit, and though her choice to start a new family deeply troubled Talltail, the two ultimately made amends.
In the Super Editions
- "Tallpaw stared at his mother in confusion. He couldn't remember the last time Palebird had told him that she loved him."
- ―Tallpaw surprised by his mother Tallstar's Revenge, page 222
- As he thinks about how the moor would look like in heavy snow, Tallkit remembers that Palebird informed him that leaf-bare hit WindClan the hardest out of all Clans, since the moor touched the sky, but made them more special and safer. He recalls that she told him that they were closer to Silverpelt than any Clan, as she snuggles Tallkit in their nest, and adds that it meant StarClan watched them more closely. He hears worry in Palebird's mew, and asks if they tunneled under the moor to hide from the dead warriors from other Clans. Palebird tells him not to be silly, and licks his ear. She then responds that they tunneled because they were stronger and more clever than the other Clans together, and her washing becomes brisk, which silences Tallkit.
- It is briefly mentioned that Palebird was a tunneler, as well as her mate, Sandgorse. When recalling the tale of Shattered Ice, Tallkit remembers that it was one of the first nursery stories Palebird told him.
- When Tallkit tries to tunnel and falls, Palebird consoles Tallkit when he comes back, crying that he fell into the hole he was digging and hurt his muzzle and claws. Sandgorse attempts to convince Tallkit to continue trying, but Palebird murmurs for him to leave him, as he is frightened. Tallkit asks where Brackenwing and Mistmouse are, and Palebird responds, saying Brackenwing is getting prey and Mistmouse is out hunting. Palebird explains that Mistmouse missed being out on the moor and that her kits didn't need her in the nursery anymore. Tallkit asks if Palebird misses being underground, to which she says she has. It's mentioned by Brackenwing, once she returns, that Palebird won't be tunneling for awhile. Tallkit asks why, and Palebird answers with difficulty that her kitting was hard, resulting in the loss of Finchkit. Tallkit distracts her from the sadness, claiming there's sand in his ears, and she begins washing him. Palebird seems distant and detached often, looking off with a clouded gaze.
- Sandgorse is excited at the idea of Tallkit and Palebird tunneling all together when Tallkit is apprenticed, though Palebird remarks that she doesn't believe she'll be strong enough to. She leaves, saddened, and Tallkit is sent by his father to go comfort her. When they reach the nursery, Tallkit goes to nurse, but is shoved away by his mother. She explains that her milk is drying up and that it was time he that he started eating prey. At Tallpaw's apprenticing ceremony, she is outraged when Heatherstar assigns him Dawnstripe as a mentor, as she is a moor runner. She hisses at the WindClan leader, saying he can chase prey underground just as well. Palebird leaves the ceremony, tail drooping, clearly disappointed, and is mentioned to be hiding in the nursery when Tallpaw and Sandgorse talk about what they want. Sandgorse also states that he, Palebird, and Tallpaw would have been tunneling together.
- Palebird is next seen crouching outside the nursery with Meadowslip. Tallpaw tries to talk to her about his training, but she seems very distracted, and Tallpaw is scolded by Brackenwing to not bother her, for she needs rest. Meadowslip explains further that she hasn't been sleeping well, and Palebird says for Tallpaw to tell her about his training later. Palebird, Meadowslip, and Brackenwing then begin talking about the visitors who are sure to return that upcoming greenleaf. After the first attempt to make a tunnel to the gorge, Sandgorse says that if he and Tallpaw could make a successful tunnel to the gorge, Palebird would be so proud of them.
- When the visitors come to WindClan, Palebird comments that it's good to see old friends. When Tallpaw asks her how long she's known them, she says they've been visiting since before she was born, saying that it started with Algie and Bess, then Reena, their daughter. Afterwards, they were joined by two more cats; Sparrow and Mole. When Tallpaw says they have weird names, Palebird explains that Bess and Algernon were named by Twolegs, saying they might have been kittypets, while Bess gave Reena her sister's name. Bess then begins to talk to Palebird, commenting on how thin she looks. Palebird just says she hasn't been feeling well. When Bess asks who Tallpaw is, Palebird says with pride that he's her son. Then her mew wobbles as she states she kitted another, but that she had died. Bess then refers to her as a duckling, and they share a long moment of grief. Next, when Bess comments about the cats who didn't want the visitors there, saying that they'll have to "earn their keep" to gain their trust again, Tallpaw is confused. Palebird explains that they will have to catch their own food.
- Shortly after, Tallpaw asks where the visitors will stay, to which Palebird replies that Bess would stay with her in the nursery with the agreement of Meadowslip. When Bess is concerned of her daughter's well being, Palebird replies with a frown that there was not much more room for any other cats to stay in the nursery, adding that Meadowslip is very close to kitting to which Tallpaw offers that Reena could stay in the apprentice den, surprising himself about how quickly he gave the suggestion without second thoughts.
- Palebird is later mentioned when Reena asks Tallpaw why any of his Clanmates and him tunneled, to which he replies that WindClan cats always tunneled and that Sandgorse and Palebird were also tunnelers. Reena, who seems mildly curious, asks Tallpaw why he is not like his parents, embarrassing Tallpaw slightly.
- Palebird is later mentioned again as Tallpaw wonders if Finchkit could have made her happy. When ShadowClan attacks WindClan's camp, Palebird is nowhere to be seen so Tallpaw guesses she must be in the nursery. After the battle, Palebird noses past Algie and Bess and calls Brackenwing's name, and asks what's wrong as the she-cat dies of her wounds. Palebird pushes past Tallpaw and her voice cracks as she calls Brackenwing's name and crouches over her friend. Palebird tells that she was the only one who saw Finchkit before she died and that no one else understands her grief. Tallpaw wishes there is some way to comfort his mother but he isn’t able to, thinking she won’t want him. He blames himself for Brackenwing's death, thinking it’s his fault Palebird's friend is dead.
- As dusk falls, Palebird is still lying beside Brackenwing's body and when the tunnelers return, Sandgorse checks on his mate, and Palebird says she’s okay, her voice cracking. Soon, Tallpaw squeezes in beside his mother and whispers his mother’s name, hoping for reassurance but Palebird just nuzzles closer to Brackenwing. The next morning, Palebird asks to help with Brackenwing's burial, and Flamepelt agrees.
- After the death of Sandgorse, Palebird rushes out of the nursery and asks if they found him. Dawnstripe tells no. Palebird collapses and Meadowslip runs to her side. She is seen later outside the nursery, staring into space with her eyes glazed. Tallpaw, for a minute understands why she always seemed distant, if she didn’t let herself feel anything, she might protect herself from her grief for Finchkit.
- A quarter moon later, Palebird pokes her head out of the nursery and tells Hawkheart Meadowslip's kits are coming. The medicine cat shoos her back and slips into the den. For once, Palebird's eyes are bright as she announces Meadowslip has given birth to three kits. Meadowslip's mate, Hickorynose, has already named one kit, Hopkit, and describes his crooked paw but reassures that the kit is fine. She describes Pigeonpaw, a dark gray and white tom and finally Sorrelkit, a gray and brown she-kit. She sits back with her ears twitching with delight and tells they are beautiful and hungry the moment they arrived.
- When Heatherstar calls a Clan meeting, and mentions Sandgorse, she glances sympathetically at Palebird, and mentions Tallpaw wants to become a tunneler, but Heatherstar decides to end all tunneling and the position of tunneler is no longer available. Afterwards, Palebird approaches Tallpaw and tells she is glad he is not becoming a tunneler, and that Sandgorse wouldn't want Tallpaw to die as he did. She touches her nose to Tallpaw's cheek and tells him she can't bear to lose another cat she loves. Tallpaw stares at her mother in confusion, struggling to remember the last time Palebird told him that she loved him.
- Two moons after Sandgorse's death, Palebird is seen close to Woollytail, their pelts brushing from time to time as they padded over the grass. Tallpaw notes Woollytail never seemed to leave Palebird alone now, and thinks he has to make sure that his mother didn't mind.
- After Tallpaw has his final assessment, he heads to the spring to get a drink when he hears Woollytail and Palebird talking. Woollytail asks if she's sure, and Palebird tells him yes, in two moons time. She asks about Tallpaw, and states they should tell him first. Woollytail says yes, and how this'll cheer him up. Palebird lowers her voice and tells him that she should tell by him herself when Tallpaw asks tell him what. Palebird eyes brighten and she tells him she has good news, that's she's expecting Woollytail's kits. She gushes Tallpaw is going to be a brother at last. Tallpaw asks about Sandgorse and Woollytail tells him that Sandgorse wouldn't want Palebird to be grieving for the rest of her life, and Tallpaw should be pleased for his mother as she hasn't been this happy for a long time. Tallpaw thinks he and Sandgorse couldn't make Palebird happy, but Woollytail can. Woollytail also tells Tallpaw that he'll still be her first kit, and asks if he really thought he'd be her last. Palebird seems oblivious that she has caused Tallpaw pain, and Tallpaw growls whatever makes them happy.
- Tallpaw has passed his assessment, and Palebird purrs during his naming ceremony, saying there's been so much good news in one day. Tallpaw narrows his eyes and thinks, for you, maybe. After Tallpaw is given the warrior name of Talltail, he glances over his shoulder to see Palebird pressing against Woollytail, her eyes bright. Talltail wonders if she is proud of him, or just happy about the kits.
- The next morning, Doespring asks Talltail isn't it great about Palebird's kits. Talltail grunts any excuse to stay in the nursery. Doespring tells Talltail that Palebird's lost so much, and he should be pleased for her. Talltail states Palebird should have stayed faithful to Sandgorse, anyone would think she's glad he's gone and she can have Woollytail as her mate. Doespring says Palebird is happy, and Talltail is the only one who isn't pleased.
- It's now leaf-bare, and Palebird is giving birth to her second litter of kits. Plumclaw tells Woollytail she'll be fine as he paces. Mistmouse reassures Hawkheart's with her, he's done this countless times. It is mentioned that Palebird sounds like she is struggling, her groans growing more and more desperate. Talltail wonders if StarClan would guide Palebird, or make her lose kits another time. Talltail asks Barkpaw if she's okay, and he tells him that she's tired, and he can't make any promises but she's in good paws. Ryestalk mentions Palebird is lucky to have two medicine cats to look after her, and reassures Talltail she'll get through this. A shrill comes from the nursery, and Ryestalk says that's the first one. Woollytail goes in to meet his first kit, and Palebird shrieks again. Another mewling, then silence.
- Talltail asks if Palebird is alright, and Woollytail tells him that she's great, and invites him to meet his brothers and sisters. Hawkheart warns him that Palebird is very tired as Talltail enters. She is sprawled in her nest, her fur wet and ruffled and her eyes glazed with four kits squirming at her belly. Woollytail starts licking her ears as Hawkheart states she'll be back on her paws in a day or two, and warns not to keep her awake for too long. Pale bird stresses how she is going to feed all four of them, and Hawkheart tells there is only four, and they'll do the work, she just has to lie still. Palebird stresses what if she doesn't have enough milk, and Hawkheart tells of course she will, and tells Barkpaw that Palebird can manage without them for now. Palebird asks Woollytail if she can really look after them, and Woollytail reassures her. Talltail lifts one of the kits back at Palebird's belly and she snaps to not hurt him. Talltail feels hurt and tells her he was just trying to help.
- A quarter moon later, the names of Palebird's kits are revealed to be Wrenkit, Bristlekit, Rabbitkit, and Flykit. Talltail grabs a mouse from the fresh-kill pile and thrusts it into the nursery for it to thaw from the cold. Palebird lifts her head sleepily and asks if it is Talltail. Talltail asks if she needs something, and she tells Talltail to go away, he is disturbing everyone. The kits kept them awake half the night because he got them excited about the Gathering. Talltail scratches a thorn on his ear as he exits the nursery, and it hurts less than Palebird's words.
- Later that day, when Heatherstar is talking to Talltail, she mentions Palebird never got over Finchkit and Talltail states she's got over her enough to start a new family with Woollytail. After a second talk, Heatherstar announces Talltail has something to say. Flykit asks his mother what Talltail wants, and Palebird licks between his ears and says she doesn't know.
- Talltail announces he is leaving, and asks Woollytail to take care of his mother. He looks at his mother, who is washing Wrenkit. Meadowslip nudges her and tells her Talltail is leaving. Palebird asks why, and Talltail tells her lots of reasons. Wrenkit is nudged to her mother as she complains who will give them badger rides. Palebird tells her not to worry, Talltail won't be gone long.
- After Talltail left the Clan, he manages to track down the rogues. While Talltail is with the rogues Bess asks how is Palebird. Talltail tells she has given birth to Woollytail's kits. Bess thinks that is wonderful, and Talltail lies it's great. Reena asks how he could bear to leave them, and Talltail replies they're happier without him.
- When Talltail returns, he rescues his brothers and sisters from a hawk and manages to catch the hawk too. Larksplash approaches them and tells Palebird is worried sick before realizing Talltail has returned. Talltail brings the kits to the clearing outside the camp when Palebird appears and scolds at her kits, telling Heatherstar was about to send a search party. Palebird stares at her son, and then focuses on her younger kits again, telling them they weren't supposed to be out of camp. She asks Talltail why he was playing with them, and why he didn't bring them straight home. Talltail tells her she shouldn't have let them out, and they were nearly taken by a hawk. Larksplash backs him up, saying if Talltail didn't come back when he did, she would have lost them. Palebird asks if he caught the bird in surprise. Talltail tells her it's good to see her again before ducking into camp. She is soon seen shooing Wrenkit and Flykit crossly through the heather, telling them she can't take her eyes off of them for a moment.
- After Talltail returns from his journey past Clan territory, Palebird is seen sitting outside of the nursery.
- Many days later, Palebird pads into camp with a mouse in her jaws. Flykit asks if that's for them, and Palebird drops it at Wrenkit's paws, with Wrenkit promising to make sure everyone will get their share. Palebird tells her she is a good little warrior. Talltail greets her and asks good hunting, and Palebird tells him very good. Talltail notes he is pleased to see Palebird catching her own prey, and she seems a lot more cheerful now that she has been leaving camp to hunt. Woollytail asks if she brought anything back for him, and Palebird calls him a cheeky old badger, telling him to get his own food, she is already feeding four mouths. Talltail asks if Woollytail misses the tunnels, and Palebird mews that they all do, but they don't have to worry about cave-ins anymore. Talltail asks how Ryestalk, the new queen, is doing. Palebird tells she is fine, but it's a bit crowded. She'll be more comfortable when Pigeonkit and Sorrelkit are apprentices. She comments that they have to be six moons now, they are as big as hares. Talltail asks if Ryestalk is still grieving for Shrewclaw, and Palebird tells of course, but her grief will ease when she sees her new kits. Talltail says he wishes he fought harder, then Shrewclaw would still be alive. Palebird tells him he can't save everyone.
- At Talltail's leader ceremony, Palebird tells him Mole is in StarClan where he belongs, and gives Talltail the life of the love of a mother for her kits. Talltail feels his mother's love more strongly than he'd ever known before, and feels weak as Palebird steps away. Palebird begins to fade, and Talltail doesn't want her to go, feeling like a kit again. Talltail soon meets his sister, Finchkit, and remembers wondering if Palebird would have loved her more than she loved him.
In the Field Guides
- Palebird is mentioned on Tallstar's page. Tallstar was born to Sandgorse and Palebird, who wanted him to be a tunneler. However, Heatherstar recognized that Tallkit preferred the moor over being underground, and she made him the apprentice to a moor runner, disappointing Tallkit's parents.
Please do not edit this gallery
Please do not edit this gallery
- Palebird's former mate is Sandgorse, and their children are Tallstar and Finchkit. Palebird's current mate is Woollytail and their children are Flykit, Bristlekit, Rabbitkit and Wrenflight. For more of Palebird's family, click here!
- "Don't be silly. We tunnel because we're stronger and cleverer than all the other Clans together."
- ―Palebird to Tallkit Tallstar's Revenge, page 9
- Palebird: "Tallpaw. I’m glad you can’t become a tunneler."
- Tallpaw: "But it’s what Sandgorse would have wanted!"
- Tallstar's Revenge, page 222
- Doespring: "When did you turn so selfish, Talltail? Palebird's lost so much. You should be pleased for her."
- Talltail: "Should I? I'm a warrior now; I can have my own opinion. Palebird should have stayed faithful to Sandgorse. It's only been a few moons since the accident. Anyone would think she's glad he's gone so she can have Woollytail as her mate!"
- Tallstar's Revenge, pages 259-260
- "Talltail was pleased to see Palebird catching her own prey again. She seemed a lot more cheerful now that she had begun to leave the camp to hunt."
- ―Talltail about Palebird's deposition Tallstar's Revenge, page 485
- "Suddenly he felt Palebird's love for him more strongly than he'd ever known before — a burning certainty that he'd never doubt again."
- ―Talltail recieving Palebird's life Tallstar's Revenge, page 495
Notes and references
- Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 495
- Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, allegiances
- Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 142
- Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 12
- Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, chapter 13
- Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 20
- Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 143
- Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 19