Wild Birds

Great O’ahu Crakes

Great O'ahu Crakes (Porzana ralphorum)

The Great O’ahu Crake or Great O’ahu Rail (Porzana ralphorum) is an extinct bird species endemic to the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i. It was one of two flightless rails that had survived on the island until the arrival of people in 200 C.E.


It was the largest of two species of rail found on the island of O’ahu. There were several specimens of this bird found in early settlements.

It was 1.5 feet (0.46 m) tall, had a 1-inch (2.5 cm), and a neck 9 inches (23 cm) long. Its wings were on average less than 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, making it flightless.

The Great O’ahu Crake was probably a brown, grey, and black bird like its recently extinct relatives the Hawaiian and Laysan Rails.


Diet / Feeding

It probably feeds on the fruits, leaves, and flowers of trees that fell onto the ground.



The cause of extinction is not very well known, but we can speculate that it was hunted for meat, and its bones and feathers were used in old-style art. It may have also been attacked by Polynesian Rats that were brought by the natives by accident.


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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