Historic Sites of Manitoba: Thunderbird Nest (RM of Alonsa)

A thunderbird is a mythical creature capable of transforming from an eagle to a human. It eats serpents and is the guardian of humanity against the great horned serpent of the underworld. Thunderbird nests are constructed by Indigenous people to attract a thunderbird as a guardian spirit. This site in the Rural Municipality of Alonsa is believed to the only thunderbird nest in western Manitoba, although several occur in eastern Manitoba. A trail at the site is dedicated to the memory of Huldi Gudbrandur “Barney” Brandson (1926-1991), a long-time municipal councillor and director of the Alonsa Conservation District since its inception in 1978. He leased this land and farmed nearby.

Thunderbird nest sign

Thunderbird nest sign (September 2016)
Source: Alan Mason

Along the Thunderbird nest trail

Along the Thunderbird nest trail (October 2023)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N51.05553, W98.88193
denoted by symbol on the map above


Obituary [Huldi Gudbrandur Brandon], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 1991, page 36.

We thank Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Alan Mason and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 January 2024

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