My group is starting a new campaign (beginning at level 4) and I'm going to play an evil paladin that trusts no one. However, he does have a pet falcon — my DM is okay with this, but is warning me of its low HP/AC.
I'm more than willing to spend my character's gold on items to protect the falcon. My plan is for the falcon to know how to run/hide and to come when called to get him out of combat.
What items would be best for protecting him? Is barding a legitimate choice (how much would that affect his flying ability)?