New Zealand is home to the world’s only alpine parrot – the Kea. They live around the treeline on the South Island. I came into contact with them for the first time on my way to Milford Sound in Fiordland (at The Chasm walk to be precise).
The Kea is renowned for its antics. It is a very intelligent bird and has a reputation for pulling the rubber seals off parked cars, stealing food, stealing shoelaces from boots left outside and even for attacking sheep (in areas of scarce food they apparently have learned that sheep’s kidneys have a good fat source near the skin surface!). You can see why you might have a love-hate relationship with them.
With such a link to people, yoou won’t be surprised to learn that they hang around car parks on tourist routes – acting like they own the place (and to be fair, we are in their territory). Fantastic to see them and to interact with them for a while.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that they are drab, under all of that green is red, orange and blue feathers which are seen in flight. Beautiful, great personalities…but cheeky and destructive!