Alice McKenzie of Martins Bay remembered seeing and touching a moa, when she was 7 years old. The bird was completely trusting like so many..
It seemed to take no notice of me and I crept up nearer and nearer and sat down on the sand behind it. It was very large, and blue in colour, and seemed round behind, with no tail noticeable. I remember parting the big curved feathers behind it where the tail would be. It still took no notice while I touched it and pulled out one of its legs. The leg was a dark green, with scales, and three toes, like a fowl.
When she tried to tie the bird up it
rose and turned on me, making a harsh grunting cry. It seemed to be as high as I was, and I ran for my life. . .
Later her father measured the footprints – from heel to the middle point of the middle toe – 11 inches (280mm).
She and her brother saw the bird and its winter-tracks regularly.
A fairly tall bird with bright blue plumage,
Was it a slender bush moa? Maybe a lone male waiting for a female that no longer came? Could be.
In Cloak of Protection the little bush moa is hunted by hokioi, haast’s eagle; dog; Forbes’ harrier; & human hunters. The cause of their extinction is thought to be human huntin