One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in some North American Indian cultures) a mythical bird that brings thunder.
- ‘Doreen Jensen works with Cassandra Malley on her thunderbird design at the button blanket workshop.’
- ‘It is made from green woolen cloth with an appliquéd design of a bird, perhaps an eagle, hawk, or thunderbird, in red flannel.’
- ‘The shapes of killer whales, turtles, grizzly bears, ravens and beavers are based on real animals, while thunderbirds and double-headed serpents were invented.’
- ‘Thunder and lighting spirits took the form of thunderbirds known as Wakinyan.’
- ‘The patch - painted to depict a North American Indian mythical half-eagle, half-hawk thunderbird - is hallowed ground.’
- ‘DeCora selected a symbol that she believed would be easily understood by all Native American readers: the eagle, or thunderbird.’
- ‘The two two-metre tall totems - one of a bear and the other of a thunderbird - were carved by Squamish Nation carver Ritchie Baker and stood on the school grounds for more than 20 years.’
- ‘Alas, one day the young braves, distracted by a thunderbird swooping overhead, failed to check the ground over which they rolled the mat, and when the chief stepped upon it, he screamed in pain.’
2Australian Either of two thickheads (birds) which become noisy before and during thunderstorms.
The golden whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) and the rufous whistler (P. rufiventris), family Pachycephalidae
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