Pokemon Legendary Birds

The three legendary birds: Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres

Pokemon Galarian Legendary Birds

The three legendary birds in their Galarian forms

Legendary birds (Japanese: 伝説の鳥ポケモン Legendary bird Pokémon) is a collective term used to refer to the trio of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. They are also known as the winged mirages (Japanese: phantom wings). In Galar, their Galarian counterparts have been referred to as legendary wings.


As Legendary Pokémon, they are incredibly powerful with abilities that can affect entire regions. However, they are rare and seldom seen by humans, to the point that until the Pokémon Trainer, Red proved their existence, they were still regarded by most as myth.

The Legendary birds are associated with three out of the four seasons and capable of altering the weather in entire regions as they migrate around the world. Moltres heats up the surrounding atmosphere with every flap of its wings bringing about an early spring, Articuno causes snow to fall and can summon winter blizzards with its icy wings, and Zapdos summons massive thunderclouds to hide in and follows summer thunderstorms to eat the electricity given off by them.

Being the first Legendary trio, they set the standards for future trios; that is, they all share similar attributes and—in the case of most of the future trios—are considered equal among themselves. Like the other trios later would, the Legendary birds share a master in Lugia (in the anime and some games, at least), as well as two common traits: their Flying-type and their Ability, Pressure.

In the Eighth Pokémon generation, all three Legendary birds received a Galarian form. They all still share the Flying type, but they each have different Abilities and their respective primary type is changed.


According to notes found in the Pokémon Mansion, the legendary birds were first discovered by and recorded by the Pokémon Research Team. Blaine and Mr. Fuji also recorded notes and sightings of the winged mirages.

In the anime, Professor Oak states that Articuno's and Moltres' combined powers of ice and fire are the source and cradle of the oceans, and that Zapdos' electric energy creates the currents and streams, which is why the three ancient creatures are closely bound to the guardian of the ocean, Lugia.

In Galar's Crown Tundra, the original legendary birds were thought to periodically travel there, but it's eventually discovered that the trio of birds seen there were in reality, Galarian variants of the original trio, that travelled all over the world but anually flew back to the Crown Tundra's Dyna Tree to feed on its berries and even fight between themselves to have the Berries for themselves. Not much is known about the relation between the Galarian and Kantonian birds, but their Pokédex entries imply that the Galarian ones were either the birds's original appearances or that they're unrelated entirely.

The Legendary Birds[]


Articuno Zapdos Moltres
Articuno Zapdos Moltres
IceFlying ElectricFlying FireFlying


Articuno Zapdos Moltres
Articuno (Galar) Zapdos (Galar) Moltres (Galar)
PsychicFlying FightingFlying DarkFlying


  • The legendary birds can be caught in the most games of all Legendary Pokémon, as they can be caught in thirteen games in Japan (twelve internationally, seven in Korea).
  • In the localized versions of the First Pokémon Generation, a Bird Keeper in Route 14 states: "The 3 legendary Pokémon are all birds of prey." However, in the Japanese dialogue, he simply says that they are three birds.
  • In the English dub of Pokémon the Movie 2000: The Power of One, these Pokémon are referred to as titans.
    • In The Official Pokémon Encyclopedia, they are referred to as the Titan trio.
  • The last part of each of the members' names is a number in the Spanish language—one (Articuno), two (Zapdos), and three (Moltres)—and it reflects their National Pokédex order.
  • The legendary birds are the only Legendary Pokémon to have regional forms.
  • Even though the Galarian birds are classified as Galarian Forms, according to the lore, they travel all over the world and only visit Galar's Crown Tundra once in a year.
  • The Shiny Colorations of the legendary birds in their regional forms are colored to match the normal coloration of the Kantonian ones.