Featured on Episode 3
It just has these glowing snakes? Where did it get them?
They’re picking them up with the killer whales.
Mentioned in Fantastic Beasts: YES! M.O.M. Classification XXXX
Reported Locations: North America
First Reported: Native American Myth
Known Abilities: Generates storms as it flies, tail feathers may be used for wands
The Thunderbird is a very large bird closely related to the Phoenix. They have eagle-like heads and multiple sets of wings. Their iridescent feathers change shade based on weather conditions. In Native American mythology, lightning is created by the glowing snakes that the Thunderbird carries in its talons. Additionally, it is said they can remove their feathers like a blanket and take the form of humans.
In January of 1926, the city of New York was (temporarily) privileged to a sighting of a magnificent Thunderbird. Frank, as he was named by Newt, used his power to generate a storm over the city. In his beak he carried the venom of a Swooping Evil and the residents of New York quickly forgot that they witnessed Frank burst from the subways. Swooping Evil venom has Obliviative properties, and in the confusion of forgetting all of their memories, none of the No-Majes remembered seeing Frank fly himself home to Arizona.
ACCORDING TO POTTERMORE
Shikoba Wolfe, who was of Choctaw descent, was primarily famous for intricately carved wands containing Thunderbird tail feathers. Wolfe wands were generally held to be extremely powerful, though difficult to master. They were particularly prized by Transfigurers.