carving: Hawkin’s Rail
location: Artists Collection, Ranfurly, NZ.
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.