Meaning of huia in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhuːɪə/


  • An extinct New Zealand wattlebird with glossy black plumage, the female having a much longer and more curved bill than the male. The tail feathers were formerly prized by Maori people, and the last huia was seen in 1907.

    Heteralocha acutirostris, family Callaeidae

    ‘Ornithologists and naturalists, including the renowned nineteenth-century illustrator John Gould, originally classified male and female huias as two different species.’
    • ‘But since the huia was extinct, I had to search for years for another species that would enable me to investigate that hypothesis.’
    • ‘It is believed Smith was the last person to have seen the now-extinct huia, whose tail feathers were used by Maori chiefs as a symbol of their mana.’
    • ‘Their real-life counterparts the huia, the bush wren, the grayling - the list goes on - were driven out of their natural habitats, exposed to predators or hunted to extinction, often wantonly.’
    • ‘No one will ever again see a living huia, or a piopio.’


Mid 19th century from Maori, imitative of its cry.