(The). A fabulous Oriental bird which never alights, but is always on the wing. It is said that every head which it overshadows will wear a crown (Richardson). The splendid little bird suspended over the throne of Tippoo Saib at Seringapatam represented this poetical fancy.
In the first chapter of the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table a certain popular lecturer is made to describe himself, in allusion to his many wanderings, to this bird: “Yes, I am like the Huma, the bird that never lights; being always in the cars, as the Huma is always on the wing.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894