It’s a political jungle so I will describe some of the fowl as metaphors. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
#1) The Backyard, Short-Winged, Sparrow-Darters.
These are folks who owe their position to the higher party leaders. They do what they are told and in return get to hold onto their positions. Some are respectable County Chairman. They invariably end up as delegates to the National Convention. They don’t make any money out of the arrangement but occasionally get a deal tossed their way from big donors. They get all the booze they want at the Convention.
Surprisingly some support Trump, some Cruz but most will do what the party bosses say.
#2) The Lofty, Thin-Crested, Priebus.
These are the big party bosses who shoulder the burden of raising serious money for the GOP, some from companies that benefit by the arrangement. Nowadays they are so busy trying to get the party re-elected to Congress that they depend on the Sununu’s listed below.
#3) The Goldman-Sachs-Beaked-Osprey.
These are big donors who pay $10,000 for a picture with a political star that everybody else gets free of charge. I once wanted to give money to a presidential candidate who was a close friend. His campaign manager scoffed, ”Don’t do it,” he said, “He will think less of you for it.”
Most of them want an outside candidate who needs their money.
#4) The Drop-Jowled, Break-Nose Sununu.
These are big leaders who help run the party from behind the scenes. They can deliver large donations to the party and to the candidates. They fear that Trump will disrupt their Washington money making machine.
Most of them are angling for an “open” convention which translates as a “closed convention” where they can pick Paul Ryan.
#5) The Snap-Ripper Rove.
These are political operatives who make money as “brokers.” They bring money and candidates and delegates together but keep a lot of the money for themselves.
You will see them all over TV – never divulging who they favor (a new face?) because they may be telling multiple candidates and donors that they should be THE ONE.
“Really your father should run for president. Maybe not this time. But hey, Trump had no political experience either. Your daddy is a heck of a lot smarter than Donald Trump – and richer.”
“I know. Daddy, I told you so. I keep telling him he should run for president.”
Most of these birds thrive on chaos. They don’t care who gets the nomination as long as they get paid. Some of these birds are near starvation and others are so fat from feasting that they can hardly lift off the ground.
#6) The Full-throated, Perkin-Plucked, Thrush.
These are evangelical Christians who raise money from the faithful to “represent” them on Capitol Hill. Some Thrushes will support anyone who will arrange for serious money to be donated to their nonprofits.
In 2012 some solemnly told their followers that Catholic Rick Santorum was the perfect presidential candidate. In 2016, when Santorum couldn’t get them any big donations, they shamelessly dropped him like a hot rock.
Most of the Thrushes came late to Ted Cruz and are scrounging for money on the edges of his campaign.
#7) The Smart-beaked, narrow nosed, VanderSloot.
These are Mormons initially brought in by party leaders years ago to help assure the Romney nomination in 2012 and to help the GOP balance the undue power of evangelicals.
Later, some in the RNC establishment felt that they had gone too far. And so they tried to take back some of the power that had gone to VanderSloots in the Mountain States. For example, they tried to change Nevada into a Primary so that the LDS would have less power. And they tried to stop Arizona from changing into a Caucus for the same reason.
The VanderSloots wouldn’t mind seeing an opening for Mitt Romney, short of that, they will join the coalition to help stampede the convention for Paul Ryan.
#8) The Feulner-Feathered Weyrich.
These are conservative Catholics who have been longing to get one of their own nominated from Rudolph Giuliani in 2008, to Marco Rubio in 2016.
Some of them get research money for their think tanks, sponsorship for their seminars and advertising dollars for their publications from corporations who in turn get corporate welfare direct from the federal pig trough.
Most of them want Paul Ryan to win a contested convention but realize it will take a “Hail Mary” to make it happen.
Finally, behind all of these delegate-birds listed above are the big corporations whose special needs drive the process.