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.
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.
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.
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.
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.