The Alkonost is, according to Russian mythos and folklore, a woman-headed bird. It makes amazingly beautiful sounds, and those who hear these sounds forget everything they know and want nothing more ever again.[1][better source needed][2] She lives in the underworld with her counterpart, the Sirin.[3][better source needed] The Alkonost lays her eggs on a beach and then rolls them into the sea. When the Alkonost's eggs hatch, a thunderstorm sets in and the sea becomes so rough that it becomes impossible to traverse. She is also the sister of other birds from Slavic mythology, such as Rarog and Stratim.[2]

Ivan Bilibin's Alkonost

According to folk tales, at the morning of the Apple Feast of the Saviour day, Sirin flies into the apple orchard and cries sadly. In the afternoon, the Alkonost flies to this place, beginning to rejoice and laugh. Alkonost brushes dew from her wings, granting healing powers to all fruits on the tree she is sitting on.[4]

The name of the Alkonost came from a Greek demigoddess whose name was Alcyone. In Greek mythology, Alcyone was transformed by the gods into a kingfisher.[5][better source needed]

Alkonost is more likely an individual character, as was noted in some legends about this bird.[2]


In Popular CultureEdit

  • Alkonost is featured in the digital card game Mythgard (2019) as a rare minion in the Dreni faction.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Torpie, Kate (2007). Groovy Tubes: Mythical Beasts. Groovy Tube Books (children's illustrated ed.). Norwalk, CT: InnovativeKids. p. 23. ASIN B002YX0E8Y. Retrieved 18 November 2016.[better source needed]
  2. ^ a b c "Алконост". PR in mythology. Electronic encyclopedia.
  3. ^ Matthews, John; Matthews, Caitlin (2010). The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures: The Ultimate A–Z of Fantastic Beings from Myth and Magic (children's illustrated ed.). London: HarperCollins UK. p. 16. ISBN 978-0007365050. Retrieved 18 November 2016.[better source needed]
  4. ^ Bobrov A. A. (2004). Русский месяцеслов на все времена. Памятные даты, праздники, обряды, именины [Russian months for all time. Memorable dates, holidays, ceremonies, name days] (in Russian). M.: Veche. ISBN 5-7838-1304-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  5. ^ Nina, Lena G. "Everything Slavic Related" (blog). self-published – via Tumblr.[better source needed]