ENVIS Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Sunday, April 2, 2023

Birds in Legends, Mythology and Religion - V


Country or





and Myth





A bird of paradise with the body of a bird and the face of a woman, a derivative of Alcyone. (The Alkonost is, according to Russian mythos and folklore, a creature with the body of a bird but the head of a beautiful woman. It makes sounds that are amazingly beautiful, and those who hear these sounds forget everything they know and want nothing more ever again).


Sirin and Alkonost The Birds of Joy and Sorrow -Viktor Vasnetsov, 1896

Source :http://www.wikipaintings.org/de/Tag/slavic-mythology/3

Sirin A mythological creature with the head and chest of a beautiful woman and the body of a bird (usually an owl).


A prophetic bird that lives on an island in the east, close to paradise.

Gamayun, in a painting by Viktor Vasnetsov (Source : Wikipedia)

Zhar-Ptitsa A magical glowing firebird from a faraway land.

Zhar-ptitsa’ by Polenova, Elena Dmitrievna, (1850-1898) The British Library's Russian Visual Arts, 1814 - 1909 collection.

Source : http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/RVA.html

MAGYAR (Hungarian) MYTHOLOGY Turul A large falcon that helped shape the origins of the Magyars.

Hungarian art: Turul bird (9th century) (Source : Wikipedia)