Ali-Batyr, a young hunter, appears in the dense forest. Seeing a bird fly past, he sets off after the bird. The evil master of the woods Shurale emerges from the trunk of a tree. Genies, witches and evil spirits entertain their master with dances. As the sun begins to rise, the evil spirits hide. A flock of birds comes down on the clearing. They transform into young maidens. The last to abandon her wings, the beautiful Syuimbike follows them into the woods. Shurale, keeping an eye on her from behind a tree, steals her wings. The girls perform merry round dances in the clearing. When it’s time to start off, the girls pick up their wings and, transformed into birds, take to the skies. Only Syuimbike is left to wander around, having been unable to find her wings. Suddenly terrible Shurale appears before her and orders the evil spirits to surround the girl. She is a prisoner and terrified. Shurale is prepared to celebrate his victory, but Ali-Batyr rushes out from the forest and hurries to Syuimbike’s assistance. He begins a fight with Shurale. The youth knocks the monster down to the ground with one powerful blow. In vain, Syuimbike and her saviour look for the wings everywhere. Tired of the fruitless search, in torment Syuimbike falls asleep. Ali-Batyr carefully picks up the sleeping maiden and leaves with her. The defeated Shurale threatens Ali-Batyr with a pitiless revenge for having kidnapped the bird-maiden from him.
All the fellow-villagers have come to Ali-Batyr’s courtyard to a banquet in honour of Ali-Batyr and the beautiful Syuimbike. А beautiful bride is on the luxurious carpet. The matchmakers hide her, and, in accordance with custom, the groom must find her. The guests make merry and the children romp around. The bride alone is sad. Syuimbike is unable to forget her lost wings. The celebration ends. The guests depart. Unnoticed by anyone, Shurale slips into the courtyard. Seizing a suitable moment, he throws Syuimbike her wings. In delight, the girl hugs them to her breast and wants to fly off, but in indecision she stops: she would be saddened to abandon her saviour. But the desire to take to the skies is stronger. Syuimbike takes to the air in flight. Immediately she is surrounded by a flock of carrion crows sent by Shurale. They force her to fly towards the lair of their master. Ali-Batyr sees the white bird flying away in the sky, beating her wings inside the circle of black crows. Seizing an incandescent torch, Ali-Batyr follows in pursuit.
In Shurale’s lair the bird-maiden is languishing in captivity. The girl rebuffs Shurale’s advances. Ali-Batyr runs onto the clearing. At Shurale’s demand, the witches, genies and Shurale’s minions attack the youth. Ali-Batyr sets light to Shurale’s lair. All its inhabitants perish in the fiery flames. Ali-Batyr and Syuimbike are alone amidst the storming inferno. Ali-Batyr hands the maiden her wings – the only way to salvation. But Syuimbike does not wish to abandon her beloved: she throws her wings into the flames. Then the forest fire suddenly dies away. Ali-Batyr and Syuimbike return to the village. Ali-Batyr’s parents, friends and the matchmakers wish happiness to the groom and his bride.