HUIA BIRD

The Huia was a legendary bird native to New Zealand.

The Huia had exceptional dimorphism where there was extreme difference in the shape of the bill between sexes.

Male Huia had a short, robust bill and a strong muscular skull structure suited to ripping open rotting wood. Female Huia had long, thin, curved bills that were suited to extracting the grubs.

This meant the birds paired for life, using their complementary abilities to feed each other and their offspring.

This distinctive feature along with the birds’ beautiful plumage, made it highly prized by international collectors and the Maori, where wearing the Huia feathers was considered an honour.

The Huia feathers were said to represent wisdom, elegance and great dignity.

At Huia Vineyards we share these philosophies to grow and make our selection of organic wines.

Sadly, the bird became extinct in 1907. However there are unconfirmed reports of the Huia birdsong being heard in the isolated Urewera bush around 40 years ago.

 
Maori wahine, Mihiterina Takamoana adorned with Huia feathers, revered by both Maori & Pakeha settlers | painting by Gottfired Lindauer (1839-1926)

Maori wahine, Mihiterina Takamoana adorned with Huia feathers, revered by both Maori & Pakeha settlers | painting by Gottfired Lindauer (1839-1926)

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