Hawkins's Rail or Giant Chatham Island Rail, Diaphorapteryx hawkinsi, was a flightless extinct bird endemic to the Chatham Islands east of New Zealand. It is known to have existed only on the main islands of Chatham Island and Pitt Island. It is largely known from skeletal remains found in the kitchen middens of the original Polynesian inhabitants, the Moriori.
The bird was approximately 16 inches tall and weighed about 4.5 pounds (2.0 kg) and is thought to have been primarily an insectivore.
It was long thought that the Hawkins's Rail was extinct prior to European discovery, however recent evidence suggests that the bird may have become extinct much later. An 1895 letter belonging to financier/zoologist Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild describes the appearance, behaviour, and Moriori hunting method concerning the species.
- http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectDetails.aspx?oid=541832 Te Papa collection online - Cabalus modestus; paratype
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