Starting my search with the Thunderbird and Piasa of North America, I've stumbled across many others, like the Phoenix in either Greek or Egyptian mythology, the Garuda of India, the Hungarian Turul, the Hokioi of Maori legend, and the Simurgh of Persia (to name just a few).
My legend of choice for this month is the Roc or Rukh, the mythological bird of Arabia. In Arabic tradition, the roc flies over the earth and would only land on the mountain Qaf, the center of the world.
The Roc is a raptor (another name for bird of prey) of immense size and predominantly white in color. With a supposed wingspan of 48 feet and feathers the size of palm leaves, the Roc could carry away adult elephants with ease.
In other voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, he would observe an angry Roc dropping boulders from its talons on his ship after passengers shattered the Roc's egg and made a meal of the chick within.
While the World Bird Sanctuary does not have any birds as enormous as the Roc, we do have a juvenile Andean Condor named Dorothy whose size is quite impressive. Be sure to take a walk down our paved trail to see her the next time you visit.