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Physical information


Large, flightless, bird-like creature with feathers and scales[1]

Sociocultural information




Moa are large flightless bird-like creatures that were native to Reach. They are found on several Human colonies due to exportation, however are close to extinction on their native homeworld.[2][3] [4]



Moa are large bipedal flightless bird-like creatures that resemble extinct Earth-based Moa. The average Moa has two legs and two wings, with their body being covered with feathers, with scales from the neck up leading up to a very lizard-like head. The Moa have a yellow colored eye which can be closed with an eyelid. Some Moa feature a purple head crest on their heads.[1]


The Moa are observed to make chirping noises. They are skittish when approached by a person, often making a croaking noise when fleeing. They are known to forage for food by pecking at the ground.[4]


Native habitat[edit]

Moa were indigenous to the planet Reach[3] prior to its fall in the summer of 2552. The species was known to live in the Viery Territory, being present in Visegrád,[5] and in the Eposz continent at Szurdok Ridge.[4] Following the Fall of Reach in the summer of 2552, the Covenant's attack on the planet brought the Moa's numbers to near-extinction levels. However, Moa still survive on Reach in remote sectors of the planet that were not glassed by the Covenant.[2]


Moa have also been exported to other Human colonies and locations such as Earth and Casbah.[3] The largest single population of moa is located on the Inner Colony of Gannick 22. Wiljax Brantley, entrepreneur and owner of the restaurant and petting zoo Have S'Moa, had a population of moa shipped to the planet from Reach just before the attack.[2]

Use by Humans[edit]


Prior to its fall, the moa were reared as a source of meat, and were consumed by humans on Reach. The New Alexandria fast food restaurant chain World Cuisine had advertisements promoting moa burgers, priced at 7.77cR.[6] "Moa Wings" were also sold out of vending machines. [7] Moa are frequently exported to other Human worlds as food.[3] The zoo Have S'Moa sell various Moa consumables such as Moa burgers,[8] and Moa nuggets which became an incredibly expensive delicacy among wealthy Unified Earth Government dignitaries following the fall of Reach.[2]


Moa are widely exported to human worlds to be kept as pets.[3]


Halo: Reach[edit]

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 friendly AI, such as a member of Noble Team or Army Troopers they will sometimes comment as if an enemy had been killed, and maybe fire on the Moas corpse. This is most likely a small oversight, as Bungie programmed NPCs to fire on dead enemies the player killed. 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. Moa are also affected by the Mythic Skull doubling their health.

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.

Halo: Reach (Xbox 360) Halo: MCC (Xbox One) Halo: MCC (Steam) Title Unlock requirement Games
HR Achievement KEEP IT CLEAN.png
HTMCC Achievement KEEPITCLEAN Steam.jpg
Kill 7 Moa on Winter Contingency.
Halo: Reach
Halo: The Master Chief Collection


  • The original Moa were a group of flightless bird species endemic to the north and south islands of New Zealand, hunted to extinction between 1300 and 1400 CE by Māori peoples. Reach's "Moa" are unrelated to the New Zealand Moa, and were most likely named by early settlers for their superficial similarity to the extinct earth animal.
  • The price of the moa burger in the Halo: Reach level Exodus (7.77 cR) is a reference to Bungie's favorite number.
  • According to the Halo: Reach Legendary Edition developer commentary, Catherine-B320 would laugh when the player killed Moa just as she would when killing Covenant. It was cut because it seemingly encouraged 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.[9]
  • In Halo Mash-Up: Minecraft Evolved, chicken and horse mobs are retextured to look like Moa.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Halo: Reach, Model: Moa
  2. ^ a b c d e Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Have S'Moa (Retrieved on Jan 16, 2021) [local archive] [external archive]
  3. ^ a b c d e f Twitter, Halo (@Halo): "Indigenous to the planet Reach, Moas are large flightless birds with feathered bodies and a swift gait. They are widely exported as pets and for food to other human worlds like Casbah and Earth. #FictionFriday" (Retrieved on Sep 6, 2019) [archive]
  4. ^ a b c Halo: Reach, campaign level Nightfall
  5. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level Winter Contingency
  6. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level Exodus
  7. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level New Alexandria
  8. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, Forge: Billboards
  9. ^ Halo.Bungie.Org Forum, Re: AI Script (Retrieved on Sep 25, 2015) [archive]