The Notorious Kea of New Zealand

Polly Want a Passport?

We encountered this “sweet” Parrot on the way to back from Milford Sound in New Zealand. The Kea ranges from lowland river valleys and coastal forests of the west coast up to the alpine regions of the South Island.

The Kea’s notorious urge to explore and manipulate, combined with strong neophilia (a personality type characterized by a strong affinity for novelty), makes this bird a pest for residents and an attraction for tourists. Called “The Clown of the Mountains”, it will investigate backpacks, boots or even cars, often causing damage or flying off with smaller items.

People commonly encounter wild Kea at South Island ski areas. The Kea are attracted by the prospect of food scraps. Their curiosity leads them to peck and carry away unguarded items of clothing or to pry apart rubber parts of cars—to the entertainment and annoyance of human observers. They are often described as “Cheeky”.  A Kea has even been reported to have made off with a Scottish man’s passport while he was visiting Fiordland National Park!


4 responses

  1. Very cool shot, Eric! These birds love causing trouble!!

    June 3, 2011 at 7:55 am

  2. I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog’s articles daily along with a mug of coffee.

    May 27, 2013 at 11:23 pm

  3. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on
    this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

    July 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s