The curious kea is the only alpine parrot on the world. The playful, inquisitive birds are well known for pecking at vehicles, sometimes causing damage. They are found only in the high altitude forests and alpine areas in the South Island. You will often hear them before you see them, with their screeching call of ‘keeeeeaaaa’. They have been known to attack sick sheep at night, but are generally found in their own habitat, feeding on alpine vegetation.
Between two and four eggs are laid each year, in nests situated in spacing’s between rocks, or under tree roots. Once chicks are old enough to take to the skies, you can recognise them in flight by the beautiful, bright orange plumage underneath their wings.
Moon, G. (2002). A Photographic Guide to Birds of New Zealand. Auckland: New Holland Publishers.