The acciptrids (Anthropornis harpax, Lat. "grasping bird-man"; generally, Anthropronis harpax astroperegrina, Lat. "space-travelling grasping bird-man") are a species of bipedal, erect, digitigrade-standing avian humanoids with an somewhat raptor-like appearance greatly resembling Earth birds of prey. Also called halians, the acciptrids have downy feathers covering their bodies, with longer feathers on their forearms which allow some limited gliding, though flight has long been impossible. It is speculated that the gliding is a secondary effect, and that the primary evolutionary pressure of the feathers was to make them more aerodynamic while running. Modern acciptrids have forward-looking faces with large eyes, leathery skin, and pointed mouths reminiscent of more basal beak-like snouts. Their 'plumage' is incredibly varied with respect to color and pattern, and skin tone can vary from black or dark brown to vibrant reds or blues. Their hands end with sharp, grasping claws rather than the soft fingertips of most humanoids. Acciptrids tend to be tall and lanky, compared to most humans.
Originating on the low-gravity planet Halia in Strabo star system of the Eagle Nebula, the acciptrids evolved to be light and nimble, likely as pack hunters on semi-arboreal savannahs. It is uncertain what environmental pressures led to the evolution of a naturally upright stance, but by around a million years ago they had reached their anatomically modern form and quickly expanded beyond their forested habitats to every landmass on the planet. Its nearest genetic relatives, subspecies A. h. ergaster and A. h. arboreus, still exist on Halia in biological preserves, and number in the millions of individuals; these subspecies are tool-using, but remain in a state of anatomical and behavioral pre-modernity, and as such are considered a paleolithic tool-using race. Modern acciptrids developed agriculture around 13,000 years ago and reached industrial modernity in the 1400s CE.
The acciptrids were the first intelligent, spacefaring alien species encountered by humanity, with First Contact in February 2401. Relations were