What effect would a beak have on a large, sentient creature's voice? Would they sound like parrots or have a deeper sounding voice and a siblant hiss? Would a stiff beak instead of flexible lips prevent them from making certain sounds, and if so, which ones? Would it be possible for them to overcome this in any way?
The creature in question is a gryphon, yes.
In a related question, how would you design a harness for something like a gryphon; quadrupedal and with large wings? The wings on my concept of gryphons are typically broad in design and the secondaries extend to a point just before where the hindquarters begin. The actual hindquarters are supported by a broad fan tail at the base of the actual bony tail.
Also, the (humanoid) riders typically "sit" lying down so as not to impede flight as much; would this require a dramatic retooling of a saddle or just a pad and straps to keep the rider in place?
The tech level is around mid-1800s.
My (human) character is part of a team hired to map a rather large mountainous frontier region from the air; how would they go about doing this? Cameras are mostly unusable except in extremely favorable conditions and from the ground only, though the gryphons can hover if facing into the wind. Conditions are a subarctic winter, with frequent snow or overcast; for plot reasons they have to do this in winter.
I apologise in advance for any stupid mistakes or assumptions I may have made. D: