Skarmory are tall birds with long necks and long legs. They have red feathers under sheaths that cover their very sharp wings. Their skin and feathers are hard because they live and are raised in very harsh conditions. Their nests are usually found in thorn bushes, where continual scratching of their skin will eventually harden it into an iron-like state. Skarmory, like most Steel-type Pokémon, are silver-gray except for their red feathers, yellow eyes, and metallic-blue neck, talons, and tail. Their feet both have three toes on them, two in front and one in back, and their tail has hooked ends. Skarmory also possesses a pointed, triangular crest on its head, and, although Skarmory are otherwise birdlike, several teeth in its lower jaw. Their wings are actually hollow, despite their appearance, allowing them to travel up to 190 mph (300 km/h). These wings can also be moved in separate instances, as demonstrated in Black and White sprite.
Skarmory are highly territorial and will attack anyone who threatens them. They also choose to build their nests out of sharp brambles. Skarmory's steel wings become tattered and bashed in from repeated battles, but once a year the battered wings grow back completely, restoring the cutting edges to a pristine state.
Despite being covered in extremely durable armor, they are also surprisingly swift in flight, and its feathers are sharp enough to be used as swords and knives. Skarmory like to live in tough terrain, often near volcanic areas in Hoenn and Sinnoh and mountains in Johto. There have also been sightings of this Pokémon in the deserts of Orre. They always build their nests in thorns and brambles. This ensures their offspring's safety, as no other Pokémon can get near and their offspring's skin will be scratched until it is hard like its parents'.