Large flightless bird-like creature with feathers and scales
Moa are creatures native to Reach. They are large flightless bird-like creatures that resemble extinct Earth-based Moa. They seem to have feathered bodies and scales from the neck up, leading up to a very lizard-like head.
The Moa are edible and consumed by humans on Reach. The New Alexandria fast food restaurant chain World Cuisine had advertisements promoting Moa burgers, priced at 7.77cR. These Moa were most likely domesticated and farmed for food.
The Moa appear as ambient life in Halo: Reach. The Moa are harmless and will not attack the player. They will take shelter under bridges and other formations when there is a battle nearby. Neither human nor Covenant AI are hostile towards the Moa, although if the player kills one while near a member of Noble Team, they will sometimes comment as if an enemy had been killed. The first time that Moa are encountered in Halo: Reach is when several bolt around a corner in an early part of the campaign level Winter Contingency before contact with the Covenant, causing many players to shoot and kill the birds by accident. They are once again and lastly seen in Nightfall, shortly after fighting the two Gúta.
- The original Moa were a group of flightless bird species native to the north and south islands that make up New Zealand, hunted to extinction between 1300 and 1400 C.E. by the original native Maori tribes. It is unlikely that Reach's "Moa" is related to the New Zealand Moa, and were most likely nicknamed by settlers for their superficial similarity.
- Moa appear as white dots on the player's motion tracker, and the player's reticle does not change color when it is pointed at a Moa. However, if the player melees a Moa at close range, it is possible to lunge towards it, as if they were an enemy.
- It is possible that Moa with the red plumes on their heads are males while the ones without them are females, since the red plumes could serve a purpose similar to Earth's birds, for mating and for courtship, similar to the feathers of a peacock.
- Curiously, Moa are affected by the Mythic skull.
- If the player kills a Moa, NPCs, such as Jorge-052, might fire at or talk to the corpse as if they were an enemy. Similarly, Army troopers will still comment as if the Moa were a hostile target. This is most likely a small oversight, which Bungie programed NPCs to fire on dead enemies the player killed.
- According to the Halo: Reach Legendary Edition developer commentary, Kat-B320 was originally supposed to laugh when the player kills any Moa due to her reactions towards alien species. It was cut due to the current real-life situation of animal cruelty.
- A cut easter egg in the level New Alexandria would have parodied the 1982 game Joust, which featured a knight riding a flying ostrich, by allowing players to ride Moas with jetpacks while wielding energy swords.
- One of the options on the vending machines in Reflection is "Moa Wings".
 List of appearances
- Halo: Reach (First appearance)