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We came across this Kea speckled with water droplets from the rain on his back. They are incredible to watch in the wild, very intelligent birds.
To survive in the harsh alpine environment kea have become inquisitive and nomadic social birds – characteristics which help kea to find and utilise new food sources. Their inquisitive natures often cause kea to congregate around novel objects and their strong beaks have enormous manipulative power. Kea are a protected species. Kea grow up to 50 cm long and although mostly vegetarian, also enjoy grubs and insects. The kea is related to the forest kaka (Nestor meridionalis) and is thought to have developed its own special characteristics during the last great ice age by using its unusual powers of curiosity in its search for food in a harsh landscape. Nests are usually found among boulders in high altitude forest where the birds lay between two and four eggs during the breeding season from July and January. Kea is rated as one of the most intelligent birds in the world.
Kea – New Zealand – West Coast
Featured in the Birds Group