An extinct New Zealand wattlebird with glossy black plumage, the female having a much longer and more curved bill than the male. The tail feathers were formerly prized by Maoris, and the last huia was seen in 1907.
- Heteralocha acutirostris, family Callaeidae.
- Ornithologists and naturalists, including the renowned nineteenth-century illustrator John Gould, originally classified male and female huias as two different species.
- But since the huia was extinct, I had to search for years for another species that would enable me to investigate that hypothesis.
- It is believed Smith was the last person to have seen the now-extinct huia, whose tail feathers were used by Maori chiefs as a symbol of their mana.
Mid 19th century: from Maori, imitative of its cry.
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