First People :: American Indian Legends : V-Z

Bird Origin Myth

A Winnebago (Hotcâk) Legend

The first birds created by Earthmaker were the Thunders, who can make themselves invisible. As the Thunderbirds traversed the heavens, they would occasionally lose a feather. From such feathers, the visible birds sprang into existence. From the largest quill feathers of the Thunders there came into being the race of eagles; from other large feathers came the race of hawks and their kind; from the small feathers came such birds as partridges; from the down feathers came the small birds like robins and pigeons; and from the mere fuzz of down feathers emerged the very smallest of birds, such as sparrows and hummingbirds. All birds, therefore, are descended from the Thunders.

Return to Winnebago Legends
top of page.