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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

Site Location (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.

This page was prepared by Alan Mason and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 August 2017

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.

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