Eagles, we’re talking the giant predators of legend, like the Roc #AtoZChallenge

folklore, eagles, giants, birds, predators, legends, myths, storytelling, stories, fantasy, lotr, Roc,

Part of the A-to-Z blog challenge. My theme is legends and legendary creatures. Every day (except Sundays) this month, a legend beginning with that day’s word will be featured. I hope you enjoy following along!

Eagle: the Roc

Legends of giant predatory birds abound, such as the Roc, appearing in Arabian fairy tales, sailors’ folklore, and more. (Remember the Tales of Sinbad the Sailor?) But this isn’t just in Arabian tales. Beliefs of such birds existed in Europe and New Zealand too. But why? Is there any evidence there could have once existed such a giant bird of prey?
Let’s take a look at an extinct eagle species we do have evidence of:

The Haast’s eagle

An extinct species of eagle that once lived in the South Island of New Zealand, commonly accepted to be the Pouakai of Maori legend. The species was the largest eagle known to have existed. Its massive size was perfect for the size of its prey, the flightless moa bird: the largest of which could weigh 230 kg (510 lb). Haast’s eagle became extinct around 1400 after the moa were hunted to extinction by humans.
Want to get an idea of how big this predator of the skies was?

Here is the Haast eagle’s prey, the now-extinct flightless moa:

moa, giant bird, myth bird, legend bird, New Zealand, Haast's eagle, giant eagles, islands, birds,

Artist’s depiction of a Haast’s eagle hunting them:

Haast's eagle, giant eagle, Roc, roc, Sinbad the Sailor, legends, myths, Arabian tales, New Zealand, moa, birds of prey, giant predators,

Sculptor’s now bring this giant bird of prey “to life” for us:

giant, bird, prey, predator, eagle, hawk, massive, extinct, extinct birds, extinct predator, sculptor, legend, truth,

Hmm, I’m thinking the idea of massive birds of prey like the Roc might not be that far out there, after all… This thing could hunt humans… Check out Wingspan.co.nz for more about Haast’s eagle.

And keep a wary eye to the skies as you go about your day. 😉 Unless you’re Gandalf, of course.


Hobbit, Thorin, Great Eagle, Roc, Tolkien, J R R Tolkien myth, Tolkien legend, LOTR, movie,

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(Information and art credit: Wikipedia, and wingspan.co.nz . Art belongs to their respective owners, not me.)

7 thoughts on “Eagles, we’re talking the giant predators of legend, like the Roc #AtoZChallenge

  1. The eagles are coming! 😀 (Sorry. I watched Return Of The King this past weekend, so I couldn’t help myself.)

    I think just about any flying mythological or fantastical creature is amazing. There’s something about the ability to fly that’s enchanting to begin with – or the opportunity to ride a huge flying creature, too. But I don’t think I’d want one hunting me for prey….

    Good job with this series so far, E.!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, I couldn’t resist adding those LOTR images at the end of the post! 😀
      As a friend, large flying creatures are amazing. But as predators…”run for the hills!!!” (or trees, better coverage).
      Thank you, Sara! I’ve been enjoying all this research, so far.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That got my imagination soaring! 😀 Eagles are beautiful birds. I like the idea of giant ones. Could be useful for future stories 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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