From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

A screenshot of a Moa on the level Winter Contingency.
Physical information


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

Sociocultural information




Moa are large flightless bird-like creatures originally native to Reach. They are found on several other human colonies due to exportation, but are close to extinction on their native homeworld.[2][3][4]


Biology and physiology[edit]

Moa are large bipedal flightless bird-like creatures that resemble the extinct moa of Earth. With the exception of their heads and legs, the bodies of moa are covered in gray feathers. Their lizard-like heads and beaks are shiny and gray-brown. Some moa have a purple crest atop their skulls, possibly as a form of sexual dimorphism. Moa also have yellow eyes with dark pupils that can be closed beneath eyelids. Despite being flightless, moa retain a pair of wings on either side of their bodies like the flightless birds native to Earth. Moa have a feathered that droops down behind their bodies. The muscled thighs of moa appear to be devoid of any feathers, but their lower legs are covered in scales. Their feet end in three toes, each with a talon; the center talon is significantly larger than the other two.[1]


Moa are observed to make chirping noises. Wild moa have been seen to be skittish when approached by humans, often making a croaking noise while fleeing. Sometimes, they will screech and raise their wings upward, possibly as a form of intimidation display. They are known to forage for food by pecking at the ground.[5][4]

A group of moa fleeing from danger.
A group of moa flee from danger.


Moa are indigenous to the planet Reach,[3] having been known to live in the Viery Territory in Visegrád,[5] and at Szurdok Ridge on the continent of Eposz.[4] During the Fall of Reach in the summer of 2552, the Covenant's attack on the planet brought its population of moa nearly to extinction. 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 locations such as Earth and Casbah City, Tribute.[3] The single largest population of moa is owned by Have S'Moa, a restaurant and petting zoo located on the Inner Colony of Gannick 22. Wiljax Brantley, entrepreneur and owner of Have S'Moa, received a large shipment of moa from Reach just before the Covenant's attack.[2]

Use by humans[edit]

Have S'Moa logo.
A stylized moa, used as the logo for Have S'moa.


Prior to the planet's fall, moa were reared on Reach as a source of meat to be consumed by humans. In New Alexandria, the 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 in New Alexandria. [7] Moa are frequently exported to other human worlds as food.[3] Have S'Moa sell various moa products such as moa burgers[8] and moa nuggets, which have become an incredibly expensive delicacy among wealthy Unified Earth Government dignitaries following the Fall of Reach.[2]


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


Halo: Reach[edit]

Moa appear as ambient life in Halo: Reach. They 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. However, if the player kills a moa while near friendly AI—such as a member of Noble Team or Army troopers—they may comment as if an enemy had been killed, sometimes even firing at the moa's corpse. This is most likely a oversight, as Bungie programmed NPCs to fire on dead enemies that 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.

In Halo: Reach, moa can be found throughout the campaign level Winter Contingency. 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

Production notes[edit]


The original moa were a type 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. Presumably, Reach's "moa" are biologically unrelated to the New Zealand moa, and were most likely named by early settlers for their superficial similarity to the extinct earth animal.

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.

Easter eggs and references[edit]

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] The price of the moa burger in the Halo: Reach level Exodus (7.77 cR) is a reference to Bungie's favorite number.

Other media[edit]

Minecraft features various references to the moa. In the Halo Mash-Up: Minecraft Evolved, the chicken and horse mobs are retextured to look like moa. The Character Creator also added a piece of headwear styled after one.


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. ^ a b 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]