- "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.
Stormbirds were created by AETHER, a GAIA subroutine tasked with detoxifying the Earth's ravaged atmosphere, allowing life to be reseeded. 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.
- 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.
|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|
|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|