Te Hokioi

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6 Responses

  1. Mauro says:

    Re: Te Hokioi
    This has been an hotly debated topic in the Cryptozoological community for some time now.
    I am sceptical, strongly sceptical. There’s a similar tradition in the Fiji Islands about the Ngani-Vatu, a large men eating bird. No large bird of prey, living or exint, is known from the Fiji so it’s probably a cultural tradition or widespread myth.
    If I remember correctly Haast’s eagle is believed to have become extint between the XIII and XV century. Extermination of its main food source (large moas) was probably the main cause though a few implements (mostly fishing hooks) fashioned out of the great eagle’s talons have been found in Maori middens, hinting the bird may have been hunted by Maoris.

    In Distortion We Trust

  2. Ian Topham says:

    Re: Te Hokioi
    One of the myths concerning this bird can be found on this site concerning New Zealand Birds.

  3. Mysteryshopper says:

    Re: Te Hokioi
    Regarding Fiji: similar legends could have different causes. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be caught out in the open with a Haast’s Eagle about. Some owls have been known to cause injuries to humans and they are much smaller.

  4. Mauro says:

    Re: Te Hokioi
    Some owls have the innate instinct to fiercely attack anything that will come close to their nest: the Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in particular has gained quite a reputation among birdwatchers. This behavior is particulary marked when the young are about to leave the nest.
    Eagles are also known to attack very large preys: Darren Naish had a piece about Steppe eagles (Aquila nipalensis) being trained to hunt wolves. But again, no unprovoked attack on humans are on record except for a dubious case from Scandinavia.

    In Distortion We Trust

  5. Mysteryshopper says:

    Re: Te Hokioi
    We can’t infer much about the behaviour of extinct eagle species from the current relations. We do know that New Zealand had no mammalian predators and that birds filled those ecological niches. It is entirely possible, even likely, that Haast’s Eagle was a fearsome predator. It is also possible that it might have been the source of legends though the link is more tenuous.

    Regarding cryptozoological legends in general: many legends do not refer to literal living creatures recorded by observers, though some do. I don’t think it is possible to say which is which without full investigation into each case.

  6. Daniel Parkinson says:

    Re: Te Hokioi
    The renowned bird photographer Eric Hosking lost an eye to a Tawny Owl, proof enough that they can cause injury. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Hosking