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Kea Bird

Curious kea parrots develop ​taste for everything new to diversify their regular diet of plants and berries. It does not matter that they already have wings, they would still sip from your can of Red Bull


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Endemic to New Zealand extremely intelligent Kea parrots strike with their boldness, curiosity and playfulness. Although their regular diet consists of plants and berries, they also enjoy insects and larvae, and not only. These birds are keen on trying something new: they would eat your hamburger and wash it down with beer or a can of Red Bull. If you let them to your dinner table, they will pick​ from each plate and sip from every cup and after the meal, ​all the dishes will surely be kicked over.

The entertainments are not over at this point: after the dinner, it is time to play with car antennas and taste the rubber on car's windows. Keas are notorious for stealing windscreen wipers. Do not expect to scare off a kea parrot, these birds are surprisingly daring. In spite of their hooliganism, they seem to have knightly manners as they warn about their attacks with the harsh "keeaa​" cries. If you want to get well on with kea parrots, you are advised to observe them during their breeding season which lasts between July and January, as then they must be preoccupied with their chicks.

You may find keas' nests among boulders in the forests marked with high altitudes in the alpine environment. A popular watching site is at the Arthur's Path. To get there you can go on a Christchurch tour by TranzAlpine train or Guided Walk.

The dark-green and brown plumage with small red patches mostly underneath the wings is not particularly outstanding, but you will quickly recognise the parrot by its highly social behaviour​. By the way, kea parrots are not particularly numerous. Their wild​ population counts from 1,000 to 5,000 birds.

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