Kea

Nestor Notabilis 


Mischievous and cheeky, these highly social “mountain parrots” have a tendency to create havoc by being very destructive to human belongings such as cars! But don’t worry our Staglands car park is perfectly safe!

Interesting Kea Fact! 
These fascinating birds have been dubbed the 'clown of New Zealand's Southern Alps'. The keas long beak is a valuable tool in its search for food especially in crevices in between rocks and boulders and for prizing off the lids of rubbish bins!

Habitat and Distribution: 
The kea is a protected species and inhabits the South Island’s alpine forests and mountains. They are not typically found in Wellington, but are very happy in their habitat at Staglands.

Characteristics: 
The kea has olive green plumage and a large and very strong hooked beak distinguishing it from its close relative, the South Island kaka. Beautiful orange feathers can be seen under its wings when in flight. The kea is essentially a ground bird often entertaining any humans present with their sideways hopping. But when airborne, they are magnificent fliers.

Voice: 
The kea’s call is high pitched with a rather raucous 'kee-aa' call, especially when flying. They also have a variety of softer murmuring calls.

Food: 
Keas have a varied and adaptable diet, reflecting the changeable conditions of their habitat. Mostly vegetarian, kea love to eat; seeds, buds, foliage, fruits, nectar and also likes the occasional insect or grub. In harder times of winter kea are also known to feed on carrion and can attack sickly sheep.

Breeding: 
Unlike other parrots, the kea builds a nest made of sticks, grasses, moss and lichens, usually under rock, just above the bush line or in a forest clearing. A clutch of two or three white eggs is laid from August to January and males feed their mate whilst she incubates the eggs which may take up to four weeks. Males sometimes mate with two or more females. 

 

Conservation Links:

Whio Forever
Kea Conservation Trust
NZ Brown Teal Online
Department of Conservation
Greater Wellington Regional Council
IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species

One of the best places to go around Wellington, especially with kids! Lovely, very friendly and funny animals, beautiful surroundings. For the 3+ hours we spent there, we smiled and laughed as much as for the previous week? month? :-) Little historical area within the reserve is another remarkable spot.

Alexey Volkov

The staff are very welcoming. The animals were super interactive, sometimes to an amusing extent (being followed by a guinea fowl horde was hilarious). The place is huge, and I think we saw about 98% of it. A beautiful array of feathered friends, fish and furry creatures. Was definitely worth the drive. I'll pop by next time I visit NZ.

Nowhere Town

Enjoyed wandering through and petting the animals. Great for a family visit, lots of good picnic spots if you don't want to go to the cafe.

Thomas Beagle

100% recommend !!!! You get to pet a lot of animals ! I was hoping the pigs to be roaming around the grass area, but I was still able to pet them over the fence. It’s a huge reserve and got space to do picnics ! I would recommend giving yourself at least 3 hours to see everything ! They got other attractions like a train tour and apparently weddings too. You can walk along the river and feed trouts at the pond. A lot of birds just walking about so won’t recommend if you’re afraid of birds. 

Dana Young

"Easy way to fill in a fun filled day with the children. Awesome set up, reasonable price, and can take your own lunch or eat in the Cafe. Perfect!"

Emma McGregor

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