Ian’s Bird of the Week – Kea ~ by Ian Montgomery
Newsletter ~ 1/26/12
If you park near the entrance to the Homer Tunnel on the way to Milford Sound in Fiordland on the South Island of New Zealand, you are likely to be approached by one of these interesting-looking parrots.
Quick as a flash, it and his pals will check it out for weak spots and set to work – this one with yellow cere, lower mandible and eye-ring is a juvenile delinquent (yes, that’s snow in the background, these are tough birds). Let’s see if we can rip the roof off.
Oh well, the roof was stronger than it looked. How about the braking light above the back door, this has some promising cracks.
And don’t think you can get rid of us by just driving off. We’ll hang on grimly until we get blown off by the breeze.
Keas have the reputation of being playful, but the intensity and obsessiveness of their attacks looked anything like a game to me and more like a compulsion. In fact, their attacks did no noticeable damage even though I parked the camper there for some time so that I could look for the Rock Wrens (Bird of the Week #438). According to my field guide ‘the worst offending birds are caught and transferred to distant sites or taken into captivity’. Sounds familiar.
Sounds like you might want to keep an eye on your personal property around those birds! It is amazing how much the birds vary in their habits and diets. Every time Ian writes about his encounters with the various birds, it’s always different and interesting. Keep up the great birding, Ian, we enjoy your encounters with our avian friends around the world.
I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)
See Ian’s Cockatoos & Allies and his Parrots & Allies, which are part of the Strigopidae Family. Those parrots along with the Cockatoos – Cacatuidae and Parrots – Psittacidae Families make up the Psittaciformes Order.