The Great Bird of the Galaxy for centuries was considered a blessing used on countless worlds in the Alpha Quadrant.

The usual blessing, "May the Great Bird of the Galaxy settle on your planet" is based on the myth that if the Great Bird settled on a planet, then the planet would become very prosperous. (TOS episode: "The Man Trap")

This was all considered a myth until 2373, when the USS Excalibur observed a Great Bird, being hatched from the planet Thallon, after spending millennia growing inside the planet. Thallon had always amazed outsiders as it had limitless supplies of energy, but that mystery was solved when the bird hatched, and Thallon was blown to pieces. (NF novel: End Game).

There is also another, larger variant on this species. It hatches from a star, which becomes blue while there's a bird inside. It has three eyes and four wings. (TNG comic: "Ill Wind")

The Great Bird of the Galaxy, was also the nickname for Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

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