Haast's eagle preying on a giant moa

Haast's eagle

Haast’s eagle was the largest eagle ever to have lived and the top predator of the time in its ecosystem. Its relatively short wings were designed for flapping flight and not for soaring, allowing for fast, manoeuvrable flight in dense forest. Because of its large size, Haast’s eagle was approaching the upper limit of size for flapping flight – if it had been any bigger it would have had to rely on gliding. It preyed upon the large flightless birds of the time, including various species of moa. Haast's eagle relied upon these flightless birds for food, once they were hunted to extinction then Haast's eagle became extinct soon after.

Scientific name: Harpagornis moorei

Rank: Species

Common names:

Haast eagle

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The following habitats are found across the Haast's eagle distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Broadleaf forest Broadleaf forest
Broadleaf forests are the dominant habitat of the UK and most of temperate northern Europe. There's little left of Britain's ancient wildwood, but isolated pockets of oak, beech and mixed deciduous and evergreen woodlands are scattered across the continent, and dictate its biodiversity.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

What their world was like

Ice age Ice age
The last ice age hasn't ended, the climate has just warmed up a bit causing the ice sheets to retreat. When the ice was more extensive, our climate was very different.