Thunderbirds are deeply rooted in Indian culture and history. It’s never unusual to see thunderbird tattoos designed entirely from sketch work, instead of more photographic representations.
In most sketch designs, you see the thunderbird with it’s wingspan in full stretch, along with lots of artwork, straight lines, jagged edges, and objects common in Indian culture. Feathers, totems, dreamcatchers, longhouses, etc. But it’s the block-style pattern design of thunderbirds we see most often.
According to Indian lore, every flap of a thunderbirds wings is like an enormous thunder clap. And there’s lots of recorded fossil records of “thunderbirds” with wingspans reaching nearly 18 feet!