The Cydonia Institute
Through NASA’s own photographs the truth will be revealed
The Cydonia Institute                                                                                                             Vol. 8 No. 1  ◘
The Cydonia Aviary   
by George J. Haas
March 2005 (revised May 2010)

On January 31, 2001, Malin Space Science Systems released a preview of some recently acquired Mars Global Surveyor images taken within the Valles Marineris hemisphere of Mars. One image in particular, captured an unstudied area located in the most northern region of the famous Cydonia area, MOC image M19-00850.1 The most notable structures in this short strip are an odd H-shaped formation set directly above a circular dome-shaped mesa that independent researcher Bob Wonderland of the Cydonia Quest web site immediately titled Big-H and Super Bowl2 (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Big H and Supper Bowl
Crop of MOC image M19-00850 (2001)
Image source: courtesy Keith Laney

The same area was photographed again in October 2003 by the THEMIS camera (V03945003). The new THEMIS image not only caught the Big-H and Super Bowl formations in the northern Cydonia region it spilled northward, over into the vast dark plain known as Acidalia Planitia (Figure 2).3

Figure 2
The Big-H Complex
Left: THEMIS image V03945003 (2003)
Image source: NASA/THEMIS/The Cydonia Institute
Right: THEMIS image notated

Looking at the top portion of the THEMIS strip (V03945003), which includes the Acidalia Planitia region of the strip, the area is dominated by a pair of perfectly round craters (Labled A&B in figure 2). The slightly smaller crater, on the far right, which we have titled Empty Nest, (Labeled B in figure 2) has a clean, sparse basin floor. The larger crater, to its left, (Labeled A in Figure 2) has a more modeled appearance. Upon closer inspection the modeled basin takes on the shape of a right facing eagle head (Figure 3).4 Notice the feathers at the crest of the head, the eye socket, beak and nostril. When viewed in the context of the strip the eagle head appears to be looking up and away from the mounds and structural formations seen in the lower portion of the strip.

Figure 3
Eagle Head Crater
Detail of THEMIS image V03945003
Image source: courtesy of Eric C. Lausch.

Within the lower section of the strip, which occupies the northern region of Cydonia, a second avian formation can be seen between Big-H and the mound to its west (Labeled D in figure 2). The overall size and shape of this segmented formation projects the distinct avian posture of a road runner (Figure 4).5 Notice the streamlined “running” stance of the body, the sharp extended beak, the erect box-shaped crest, the long legs and long tail.6

Figure 4
Road Runner
Top: Martian Road Runner
Detail of THEMIS image V03945003
Image source: NASA/THEMIS/The Cydonia Institute
Bottom: Road Runner

While studying the Road Runner formation, a left facing profiled head of a parrot was observed within the lower section of Big-H (Labeled E in figure 2). Presented in low relief, notice the flat crew-cut crest, the beak, round eye, short wing feathers and flowing tail that folds around Super Bowl (Figure 5a). A colorized wash is added to the THEMIS image in figure 5b to highlight the parrot’s contours and overall shape. Confirmation of the parrot formation is offered in the earlier MOC M19-00850 image (Figure 5c). The MOC image offers more detail and provides additional evidence for the depiction of a foot and claw, tucked up against its wing.

Figure 5
The Big-H Parrot
a: Detail of THEMIS image V03945003
Image source: NASA/THEMIS/The Cydonia Institute
b: Colorized version of THEMIS image V03945003
c: Detail of MOC image M19-00850
Notice leg and claw.

Just below Big-H and to the east of the Super Bowl formation is a large shield-like platform that supports the full-bodied carving of a large avian raptor (Labeled F in figure 2). Notice the left facing head with eye and beak. The feathered body has a highly reflective breast and hunched wing and tail feathers, while an extended foot and claw appear perched above a small crater (Figure 6). The hunched stance of the avian raptor on Mars resembles the posture of a black vulture illustrated in the Madrid codex (Figure 6).

Figure 6
Avian Shield Raptor
Left: Detail of THEMIS image V03945003
Center: Colorized version

Right: Black Vulture

Madrid Codex (detail page 36b).

Just as we have observed in other examples of Martian geoglyphs the art of contour rivalry is sometimes an intricate part of a geoglyphs design. When the Avian Shield Raptor formation is rotated 45 degrees to the left a beautiful little sparrow or finch is revealed (Figure 7a).7  Notice the soft, round head, eye, beak, wing, extended leg and flowing tail feathers (Figure 7b).

Figure 7
Avian Shield Finch
Left: Detail of THEMIS image V03945003
Right Colorized version.

When the Avian Shield Raptor formation is rotated another 45 degrees to the left, a left facing profile of a stag is revealed (Figure 8).8 The major part of the stag head is formed within the wing feature of the raptor and finch, highlighted here in amber (Figure 8b). Notice the eye, muzzle, and up-raised ear. A small profiled head of a parrot can also be seen attached to the forehead of the stag, highlighted in green (Figure 8b).

Figure 8
Avian Shield Stag with Parrot
a. Detail of THEMIS image V03945003
b. Colorized version.

Just above the third crater is the head of a pigeon flanked by a pair of stag head (Labeled C in figure 2).9 Notice the round shaped head, the eye and parted beak of the pigeon (Figure 9).

Figure 9
Pigeon with Stag Heads
Left: Detail of THEMIS image V03945003
Right: Enlarged, colorized version
Image source: courtacy David Norton.

The interaction between birds and stags may appears to be odd companions at first sight, however this is a common event observed in nature (Figure 10). These observations have been reported in the research journal, The Condor:

Ectoparasite removal was observed as the cause for Black-billed Magpies' pecking on fallow deer. It was also observed that deer that were sitting were preferred by the magpies over deer that were standing.
The magpies also seemed to prefer adult males over adult females or calves. The ectoparasitic interaction may be benefiting birds because ectoparasites are one of their sources of food10

Figure 10
Stag and Magpie.

This same interaction has also been observed between starlings and deer.11 Notice the magpie standing on the antlers of the stag in figure 11. Is this interaction between birds and deer the reason for what we are seeing within these avian/stag composites found on Mars in figures 8 and 9? 

Figure 11
Stag with Magpie comparison
a: Photo by Justin Kercher
Image source: UK wildlife photography competition - 2009 -Mammal results.
b: Avian Shield Finch colorized version (Detail of THEMIS image V03945003)

Could the bird component identified in the Avian Shield Finch geoglyph be a magpie or starling (Figure 11b)? Notice the round head, short beak, open wings and extended tail of both birds in the comparison in figure 11.
The avian formation labeled G in figure 2 was the last of these geoglyphs to be studied. At first it appeared to be the remains of an unborn avian embryo in status. After considerable analysis we concluded that it might actually be an image of a young parrot hatchling (Figure 11).  Notice the hooked beak, large head and hollow eye socket. The round body has an uneven, textured surface and a small wing form. Its large head and crouched nesting pose resembles a Pre-Columbian mace club sculpted in the shape of a parrot12 (Figure 11).
Figure 11
The Hatchling

Left: Avian Hatchling
Detail of THEMIS image V03945003

Right: Parrot mace club head (Guanecaste-Nicoya)
Image source: Pre-Columbian Weapons, Maces & Clubs -Central America - Costa Rica.Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.

The idea of an image of an innocent parrot being used a weapon is quite disturbing, however considering the appearance of a parrot attached to the stag head found with in the chest of the Raptor Geoglyph in figure 8, were these parrot shaped mace heads used to bludgeon the heads of deer?
Another image of the Hatchling geoglyph was obtained by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s context camera (CTX) in 2007. The new picture (P03_002100_2223_XN_42N010W) was photographed with the highest resolution seen so far, registering in at 6 meters per pixel. When the physical attributes of the Hatchling geoglyph, as captured in the CTX image  are rotated and compared to the morphology of a young blue fronted Amazon parrot the similar body shape and posture of the two creatures is quite striking (Figure 12).

Figure 12
The Hatchling geoglyph compared to a young parrot
a. MRO CTX image P03_002100_2223_XN_42N010W, 2007 (Rotated detail)
b. MRO CTX image colorized (William Saunders)
c. Analytical drawing by George J. Haas
d. Young blue fronted Amazon parrot (Photo: Ruth Rogers )


1.) MSSS, Face-to-Face with the "Face", MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-275, 31 January 2001,
Malin Space Science Systems released eight images of the Cydonia area on January 31, 2001 that was acquired during the April 2000 – January 2001 imaging cycle. Besides M19-00850, the release included the famous MOC image M16-00184, which captures a portion of the Cydonia Face exposing the “eye” in the highest resolution ever taken to date.

2.) Bob Wonderland, The Arcology model confirmed? - May 19, 2001, Cydonia Quest,

3.) Acidalia Planitia is located to the north of Valles Marineris, centered at 46°42′N 338°00′E / 46.7, 338.0.

4.) The Eagle Head Crater was discovered by Johnny Danger in 2004. See “Lowell's Legacy- Part 6- Lowell's canals - Acidalia Planitia,”

5.) The Road Runner was also recognized by John Lear, in a colorized ESA image produced by Keith Laney. John Lear, a Lockheed L-1011 Captain is known for his revelations about aerial phenomena and the study of artifacts on the moon and Mars. Lear also speculates that the Road Runner and Super Bowl formations could be an Arcologies.

6. Martha Anne Maxon, The real roadrunner Volume 9 of Animal natural history series, University of Oklahoma Press, 2005.

7.) The Magpie was discovered by independent researcher David Norton (AKA marsrocks). See “Road Runner on Mars” Mars anomalies, January 23, 2010.

8.) The stag was discovered by independent researcher David Norton (AKA marsrocks). See “Road Runner on Mars” Mars anomalies, January 23, 2010.
9.) The pigeon and stag heads were discovered by independent researcher David Norton (AKA marsrocks). See “Road Runner on Mars” Mars anomalies, January 23, 2010.
10.) Peter V. Genov, Paola Gigantesco and Giovanna Massei, Interactions between Black-billed Magpie and fallow deer, The Condor, Vol. 100, No. 1, Feb., 1998, pp. 177-179, University of California Press on behalf of the Cooper Ornithological Society.

11.) Robert K. Murphy, Symbiotic Interaction between Starlings and Deer, The Wilson Bulletin, Vol. 93, No. 4, Dec., 1981, p. 549, Wilson Ornithological Society.
12.)  Additional examples of parrot shaped mace heads are provided at the web site Pre-Columbian Weapons. See “Maces & Clubs - Central America - Costa Rica” Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.,( McGuinness Publishing, 2008).

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