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Little Wing 7/7 - The Kea

Posted by
Jules (Drayton, United Kingdom) on 2 December 2011 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

The Kea (Nestor notabilis) is found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. About 48 centimetres (19 in) long, it is mostly olive-green with a brilliant orange under its wings and has a large narrow curved grey-brown upper beak. The Kea is the world's only alpine parrot. Its omnivorous diet includes carrion but consists mainly of roots, leaves, berries, nectar, and insects. Now uncommon, the Kea was once killed for bounty due to concerns by the sheep farming community that it attacked livestock, especially sheep. It only received full protection in 1986.

The Kea's notorious urge to explore and manipulate makes this bird a pest for residents and an attraction for tourists. Called "the clown of the mountains", it will investigate backpacks, boots or even cars, often causing damage or flying off with smaller items. The Kea are attracted by the prospect of food scraps but feeding the Kea has been shown to have a detrimental effect on the birds' health and well-being and is thought to contribute to their destructive behaviour. The birds' trusting behaviour around humans has also been indicated as a contributing factor in a number of recent incidents at popular tourist spots where Kea have been purposely killed.

Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix

Panasonic DMC-FZ18 1/250 second F/3.6 ISO 500 233 mm (35mm equiv.)

Panasonic DMC-FZ18
1/250 second
ISO 500
233 mm (35mm equiv.)