The half-avian, half-human Garuda wears a similarly shaped crown though smaller in size. His wings spread out behind him. Indeed, literally, the word Garuda means 'wings of speech'. He actually personifies Vedic knowledge. On his wings,as it were, Vedic knowledge has come down to us. He is also known as Suparna (beautiful wings), Garutman (the solar bird), Sarparati (enemy of serpents), and Khageshvara or Pakshiraj (Lord of birds). The female bird is known as Garudi.
The mighty Garuda has his earliest reference in the Vedas, where he has been invoked by the name of Shyena. In Vedic literature, Shyena had brought nectar to the earth from heaven; in 'puranas' the bird that brought it is Garuda. Thus, Shyena and Garuda are the same. Garuda has an independent Upanishad and a 'purana', namely, Garudopanishada and Garuda-Purana, devoted to him. This amply reflects Garuda's legendary magnitude.
Of Related Interest:
Lakshmi-Narayana on Garuda (Brass Statue)
Lakshmi Vishnu on Garuda (South Indian Temple Wood Carving)
Garuda (Water Color On Silk)
Garuda (Paperback Comic Book)
Vishnu: A Symbolic Appreciation (Article)