Thunderbird Sightings!

Thunderbird is a term adopted from Native American culture. It has become a popular catch-all term for all giant flying birds seen by people that are of unexplained origins.  In the Native culture, this was a symbol of a supernatural bird with special powers. 

We have yet to see an authentic verified photo of a carcass, but there are some great vintage-appearing photos being passed around. The one (above) has a nice vintage hunters look to it. 

The Tombstone Epitaph newspaper posted an article in 1890 about two cowboys shooting a giant bird. It was described as having smooth skin (like a bat) and featherless with a face like an alligator. They were said to have stretched the bird out against a barn and nailing it up to reveal it had a wingspan as wide as the barn. The description, admittedly, fits the flying dinosaurs of the pterodactyl type. 

This photo above was touted to be an authentic vintage picture of Civil War soldiers who killed a thunderbird.

Most often, they are regarded as potentially blue herons or condors. There have been reportings of them taking off with a dog or a small child in their talons, but it is greatly regarding impossible for a condor or heron to pick up something of that weight and take off with it.

In the 1940s, a slew of reports came from Illinois. Ones in Missouri were found to be a blue heron. Back and forth it goes. It is understandably difficult to measure the actual size of a bird in the sky with nothing to compare it with size-wise. 

Saskatchewan (above)

New Mexico (above)

Wyoming (above)

Jabiru (above), a stork from Mexico to South America with a 7-9 foot wingspan. Some believe this is a possible culprit for what people are calling a "thunderbird" but it seems pretty obviously a water bird to anyone who would see it and the size is not so tremendous as to terrify.

Wonder about sightings in your state?

Sighting in Virginia
Sightings in Illinois
Sightings in South Texas
Sightings in Alaska

Could Thunderbirds exist? It seems hard to believe anything exceptionally large can fly in our skies without us knowing about it, yet I know we have tall hairy people in our woods that have remained hidden from us, but they have a great advantage- it's harder to see one person who blends in with the shadowed woodlands moving about on another hillside than to look up at the big open sky and see a cryptid fly by.

Our hardest obstacle to proving something like a Thunderbird is getting a good measure of its true size while filming or capturing something that can take flight. So far as I can imagine, we aren't capturing one any time soon.


  1. I read that they are eagles that fly over or around the tops of thunderclouds to avoid the impending storm.

  2. i saw a giant bird when i was a kid between 8 or 9. the bird was the length of a telephone pole. this sighting was in Westover Md

  3. i saw a giant bird when i was a kid between 8 or 9. the bird was the length of a telephone pole. this sighting was in Westover Md


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