Legendary giant BIRD of New Zealand.
Etymology: Waitaha Maori (Austronesian)
Variant names: Breaksea devil, Hakawai,
Hakuai, Hakuwai, Harkowhy, Hokioi, Pouakai,
Poukai, Pouwa, Puoa.
Physical description: Resembles a giant eagle.
Behavior: Nocturnal. Call is a screaming
“hakuai, hakuai, ooh,” followed by the sound of
a clanking chain. Darts down from the sky and
seizes men, women, and children, carrying them
off as food.
Distribution: South Island, Stewart Island,
Breaksea Island, and the Chatham Islands, New
Present status: The bird is said to have been
killed off a long time ago by a group of warriors
with red hair.
(1) The Great frigatebird (Fregata minor),
which may have visited New Zealand in the
(2) The Auckland Island snipe
(Coenocorypha aucklandica), in display flight.
(3) The extinct New Zealand black swan
(Cygnus sumnerensis), which had disappeared
(4) A surviving Haast’s eagle (Harpagornis
moorei ), the largest known eagle, that fed
on giant moas. It had an estimated
wingspan of 9 feet 10 inches and talons the
size of tiger claws. It was apparently a
powerful flier but may have been too heavy