Haast’s Eagle (Hieraaetus
This giant endemic eagle was the largest predator among New Zealand’s fauna. It is the largest, heaviest eagle species yet described. The species was first described in 1871 from remains found in a former marsh.
Haast’s Eagle was known to the indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori, who named it the “
Various studies estimate that the Haast Eagle could have weighed as much 30 pounds and a wingspan of nearly 10 feet! Females were larger than males. The
It is believed that the arrival of the Maori in the 13th century and their hunting of the Moa to extinction are the primary contribution to the extinction of the Haast’s Eagle.