THUNDERBIRD: Powerful & Mystical - A Leader. The most powerful supernatural spirit in Northwest Coast Native mythology and personifies 'chief'. Thunderbird lived high in the mountains and fished for killer whales when he was hungry. He is often depicted with his talons clenched into the back of a killer whale, lifting it from the ocean and soaring through the sky much like an eagle would prey upon salmon. The flapping of his wings caused the roar of thunder and lightning flashed from his eyes when he blinked.