Shortly after Korra arrived in the Spirit World and appeared as a four-year-old, a young dragon bird spirit frightened her. It was swatted by the young Avatar, causing it to injure its wing upon crashing to the ground. The wounded spirit was brought along with her after she was found by Iroh, who led the two back to his tea shop.
When Korra inquired how she could find Jinora, Iroh suggested that helping the dragon bird spirit find its way home could potentially help in her search. Korra agreed and subsequently began her journey to a large mountain encircled by storm clouds known as Hai-Riyo Peak, where the dragon bird spirit makes its nest.
Making it to the top of the mountain, Korra discovered a nest with three other dragon bird spirits. She placed the wounded spirit in the nest and upon reuniting, the four young dragon bird spirits merged to become a single adult dragon bird spirit, who flew around the peak before allowing Korra to mount it.
The dragon bird spirit took Korra to the spirit portals near the Tree of Time before departing from Korra. However, the entity returned to save Korra's soul from destruction by swatting Unalaq aside and flying off with her to safety.
When Korra and Asami journeyed to the Spirit World for a romantic getaway, the spirit met them on the meadow where they emerged from the Republic City spirit portal. It allowed them to climb on its back and flew them around on their first outing. When the couple was ready to return to the portal through which they came, the spirit found them again, ready to take them there. En route, Korra changed her mind and whispered into the spirit's ear to take them to the northern and southern spirit portal instead, instructions the dragon bird spirit readily complied to.
A young dragon bird spirit is almost entirely purple in coloration, with tufts of light pink feathers along its back, tail, and legs. Although it is generally bird-like, the dragon bird spirit is also serpentine, sharing several attributes seen in dragons, including fin-like ears and horns.
In its adult form, the dragon bird spirit is almost entirely yellow in coloration, with tufts of red feathers covering the interior of both wings. There are also patches of lighter yellow feathers over the spirit's eyes as well as along its back. Its eyes have crimson irises and yellow pupils. The adult dragon bird spirit has more distinct dragon-like attributes, with considerably more prominent orange horns, larger fin-like ears, whiskers, and a scaled underbelly. Otherwise, it retains more developed bird-like features, particularly in its broad wingspan, large talons, and strong beak.
A young dragon bird spirit is docile and fragile, but takes on a more aggressive demeanor in its adult form. Despite this, the dragon bird spirit shows loyalty to individuals that care for its well-being, as it demonstrated with both Iroh and Korra. The dragon bird spirit creates nests located in high altitudes, such as Hai-Riyo Peak. When traversing through forests and low-level scenery, the dragon bird spirit can change to its younger form, which allows it to travel easily through small spaces, although rendering it considerably more vulnerable in the process.
The dragon bird spirit resembles the Fenghuang, the "Chinese phoenix", a mythological bird that is considered emblematic of the Empress. It is frequently paired with the dragon, the symbol of the Emperor, and while it represents Yin, it has the Yang qualities of light and heat.
- A statue in the likeness of a dragon bird spirit can be found in Wan Shi Tong's Library.
- The dragon bird spirits nest at Hai-Riyo Peak. The hai-riyo is a dragon-bird hybrid present in both Chinese and Japanese mythology.
- The dragon bird spirit can sense Korra's whereabouts in the Spirit World.
- Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (November 8, 2013). "A New Spiritual Age". The Legend of Korra. Book Two: Spirits. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
- Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Five, "Cultural Diplomacy". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Koh, Irene (artist), Piekos, Nate; Blambot (letterer), Campbell, Heather; Bak, Jane (cover), Ng, Killian (colorist). Turf Wars Part One (July 26, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.
- O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 14, 2006). "The Library". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.