"Twice the size of a Glinthawk, and crackling with lightning. Won't be easy to take down."
―Aloy, upon sighting a Stormbird

The Stormbird is a machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. Capable of high altitude flight and equipped with an array of damaging ranged and melee attacks, Stormbirds are among the largest and most dangerous machines. Their ranged attacks are made even more dangerous by the natural superiority of air-based attacks against terrestrial targets.


Stormbirds are very aquiline in appearance. Indeed, while machines generally resemble some form of pre-Faro Plague animal life, the Stormbird's appearance does this more than any other. Its resemblance to a colossal eagle is unmistakable, with aquiline wings and tail, armor plating that resembles feathers, clawed avian feet, and an aquiline head and beak.

Like an eagle, the Stormbird has a large, hooked beak. It has two visual sensors, positioned in the same place as the eyes of an eagle. Above each shoulder is an armored Chillwater canister. Each wing is equipped with three feather-shaped jet engines. For aerodynamic purposes, the wings are also equipped with winglets. An armored Blaze canister is positioned above each hip. The machine possesses two avian legs and feet. Each of the four toes on each foot is equipped with an aquiline talon. In the center of the chest is an armored component known as a Lighting Gun, with which it can fire powerful electrical blasts.


Stormbird Hologram

Elisabet Sobeck displays a Stormbird as an example of an AETHER-related machine

Stormbirds were created by AETHER, a GAIA subroutine tasked with detoxifying the Earth's ravaged atmosphere, allowing life to be reseeded.[1] Presumably, the subroutine HEPHAESTUS remodeled them as combat machines with the onset of the Derangement.

Stormbirds are usually found in the skies above the vast arid regions west of the Nora Sacred Land territory. However, two were encountered by the Nora Brave Aloy in the snowy highlands northwest of the Sacred Land. Unlike any other machine, with the exception of Tallnecks, Stormbirds never congregate together.


Like all machines, with the exception of the Tallneck, Stormbirds attack humans on sight. A Stormbird usually attacks from the air, using the following ranged attacks:

  • Lightning Gun - The Stormbird fires a powerful sphere of electrical energy, similar to that fired by Shell-Walkers. Furthermore, it can rain several of these spheres down on the enemy.
  • Air Blast - The Stormbird releases a powerful, damaging blast of compressed air from its mouth.
  • Swoop Attack - The Stormbird swoops down atop the enemy.

Apart from aerial attacks, the machine can also land and use melee attacks. It can repeatedly smash its beak down on an enemy, jump and crush an enemy with one of its taloned feet, swipe at an enemy with its tail, and charge at an enemy outright, ramming him/her.

Stormbirds also have a unique air-ground electrical melee attack. While airborne, the Stormbird charges up electrical energy in a shield around its body. Once fully charged, the machine dives to the ground and releases its charge, causing severe damage and stunning any enemies in a wide radius.


Attack Name Damage Type Primary Damage Secondary Damage Trigger Range
Hurricane Blast Melee 150 - 10m - 25m
Jumping Claw Smash Melee 180 - 15m - 31m
Take Off Melee 150 - N/A
Beak Smash Melee/Shock 180 50 8m - 24m
Tail Lash Melee/Shock 300 14m - 22m
Thunder Clash Melee/Shock 450 (250 if Lightning Gun destroyed) - 0m - 150m
Quick Land Shock Shock-Icon 220 - 0m - 8m
Shock Blast Shock Shock-Icon 250 20 per second 15m - 100m
Shock Burst Shock Shock-Icon 175 - 15m - 60m
Thunder Bomb Run Shock Shock-Icon 250 20 per second 0m - 100m
Thunder Rush Shock Shock-Icon 360 - 15m - 40m
Screech Blast Sonic - - 0m - 20m


Image: Component: Information: Weakness: Strength:
Stormbird-Body Body Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. None Shock Shock-Icon
Stormbird-BlazeCanister Blaze Canister Blaze storage canister. Shooting elemental canisters with elemental ammo triggers an explosion that will damage everything nearby. Shoot off this component to collect the resource inside. Fire Fire-Icon
Tear Tear-Icon
Stormbird-Engine Engine Destroying this component disables the dive melee attack. Tear Tear-Icon None
Stormbird-FreezeCanister Freeze Canister Chillwater can be looted from this canister. Shooting this canister with a Freeze arrow will trigger an explosion Freezing anything in the area. Freeze Freeze-Icon
Tear Tear-Icon
Stormbird-LightningGun Lightning Gun Destroying this component disables the ranged Shock attacks. Tear Tear-Icon None



  • Stormbirds bear a resemblance to thunderbirds, a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples' history and culture. They are considered supernatural beings of great power and strength.
  • A Stormbird can be fought before gaining entrance to the GAIA Prime facility. If, however, the player heads to this area before the intended time in the story, the cutscene showing the Stormbird's arrival will play, and the machine can be engaged then and there. The Stormbird will stay destroyed and will not need to be fought again later.
  • There are no active Stormbirds in The Cut. However, a rusted dead one can be found at the end of The Shaman's Path, having become a Bluegleam deposit.
  • Only two Stormbirds are encountered outside of machine sites.
  • A Stormbird's flight altitude is at least three times higher than that of a Glinthawk.




  1. Shown in the hologram of the datapoint "The Good News"
Acquisition Class Broadhead - Charger - Fireclaw FW - Frostclaw FW - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler
Combat Class Ravager - Sawtooth - Scorcher FW - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw
Communication Class Tallneck
Recon Class Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher)
Transport Class Behemoth - Fire Bellowback - Freeze Bellowback - Shell-Walker
Chariot Class Corrupted Machines - Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil
Unknown Class Control TowerFW