#145 Zapdos
Zapdos' artwork for Pokémon Fire Red and Leaf Green.
Category Electric Pokémon
Original Region Kanto
National Dex Nr. #145
Kanto Dex Nr. #145
Johto #241
Hoenn #300
Kalos #152 (Coastal
Generation 1
Pokémon Color Yellow
First Appearance Pokémon Red And Blue
Latest Appearance Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Type(s) Electric/Flying
Ability/ies Pressure
(Hidden: Static)
Average Height 5'03"
Average Weight 116.0 lbs.

Zapdos (Japanese: サンダー Thunder) is a dual-type Electric/Flying Legendary Pokémon.

It is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon.

Along with Articuno and Moltres, it is one of the three Legendary birds of Kanto.


Zapdos is an avian Pokémon with predominantly yellow plumage. Black rings encircle its eyes, and it has a long, thin, light orange beak. Its wings and tail are a mass of spiky feathers, with black feathers covering the back of its wings and inner tail feathers. A large crest of spiked feathers surrounds its head. Its thighs are a khaki color, and it has anisodactyl feet ending in talons.

When Zapdos flaps its glittering wings, it releases electricity that can potentially cause thunderstorms. It produces massive crackling and snapping sounds when it flies; these are attributed to the lightning bolts sheds when airborne. When stricken by lightning, it gains power. Zapdos reportedly appears only during thunderstorms, and is said to live among thunderclouds. However, it is rarely seen.


  • Of all Legendary Pokémon with fixed in-game locations, Zapdos can be obtained with the fewest number of Badges: 3. In the Generation I games and their remakes, the player can catch Zapdos with only the Boulder Badge, Cascade Badge, and Soul Badge.
  • Zapdos shares its species name with Elekid and Electabuzz. They are all known as the Electric Pokémon.
  • Zapdos and Jolteon's Japanese names are almost exactly the same as each other's, with a final s being the only difference.
  • Zapdos possesses a type advantage over all other members of its trio, as well as its trio master, Lugia.
  • In the anime episode The Bridge Bike Gang, Chopper's bike was decorated to look like a Zapdos.
  • In Generation V, Zapdos has Lightningrod instead of Static as its Hidden Ability. However, it cannot be obtained with its Hidden Ability in these games.


Zapdos is based on the Native American legend of the thunderbird. The thunderbird was known for being the spirit of thunder, lightning, and rain in the form of a giant bird. The beating of the wings was said to create thunder. It may also have been based on the Lightning Bird, a bird created from wherever lightning hits the earth. It may also have been based on the Impundulu, a bird of witchcraft said to summon thunder and lightning with its wings and talons.

Name Origin

Zapdos is a combination of zap and dos (Spanish for two, indicating that it is the second in the series of Kanto Legendary birds).

Thunder is literally thunder.

Names in other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese サンダー
From thunder
Spanish Zapdos Same as English name
French Électhor A combination of électrique and Thor, the Norse god of thunder
German Zapdos Same as English name
Italian Zapdos Same as English name
Korean 썬더
Transliteration of Japanese name
Chinese 閃電鳥 / 闪电鸟
Literally "Lightning bird"




National Pokédex
← #144: Articuno
#145: Zapdos
#146: Moltres →
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