Hawkin’s Rail

carving: Hawkin’s Rail

Date: 2010

location: Artists Collection, Ranfurly, NZ.

THE CARVING: Carved as part of an exhibition ‘Extinct birds of the Chataham Islands’. Carved from totara fence post, topaz eyes, fine silver talons. One of a kind carving, the only one of this bird. Photos L.A.

The bird

THE BIRD: Extinct just before European contact. Eyewitness accounts were recorded from local Moriori. Described as quite large bird, a good feed and brick red in colouration. Said to be easier to stalk head-on as its habit was always in a head down attitude fossicking the ground thus not looking forward, but impossible to catch it from behind. Many sub-fossil remains survive, distinctive large down-curved bill.