Haast’s Eagle – It Was Very Good

Haast’s Eagle (Hieraaetus moorei)

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 “Hikioi” or “Pouakai.” Maori oral tradition from the late 1800s records that it had red, black and white plumage with “black feathers tinged with yellow or green” and “a bunch of red feathers on its head” and lived in the mountains.

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 birds feet and claws were as big as a modern day tiger’s! The Haast Eagle was an apex predator and is believed to have hunted that other extinct bird of the island the Moa.

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.

More Info

Author: Jonathon

Doesn’t mix well with polite company; his two favorite topics being politics and religion. Would rather be out cycling, swimming, running, or camping. Misspent his youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

%d bloggers like this: