A Pair of New Zealand Extinct HUIA Birds, Hand Painted Silk Scarf - Satherley Silks NZ
A Pair of New Zealand Extinct HUIA Birds, Hand Painted Silk Scarf - Satherley Silks NZ
A Pair of New Zealand Extinct HUIA Birds, Hand Painted Silk Scarf - Satherley Silks NZ

A Pair of New Zealand Extinct HUIA Birds, Hand Painted Silk Scarf

Regular price $79.00 Sale

A hand painted silk scarf of Huia birds NZ natives , this was a commissioned work, are now extinct  The iconic huia was the largest of the five New Zealand wattlebird species. It was a striking large songbird, mainly black with long white-tipped tail feathers. Female and male huia had dramatically different bill sizes and shapes; this was the most extreme sexual bill dimorphism of any bird species. A fleshy orange wattle hung at the base of each side of the bill, and was often held pressed under the chin. Maori named the bird after its loud distress call, described as "a smooth, unslurred whistle rendered as uia, uia, uia or where are you?" The last accepted sighting was in 1907, but it is likely that a few huia persisted into the 1920s

Predation by introduced mammals and, to a lesser extent, human hunting, was the likely cause of huia extinction. Large areas of native forest containing huia were logged or burned in the 1800s to make way for farming, but this would have caused a modest range reduction rather than being a major contributor to their extinction. Maori traditionally prized and wore huia tail feathers as a mark of status. Tail feathers became fashionable in Britain after the Duke of York was photographed wearing one during a 1901 visit to New Zealand. Overseas bird collectors and museums bought mounted specimens and tail feathers.