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a kea shows off his colors | by Abizeleth
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a kea shows off his colors

The kea (Nestor notabilis) is a species of parrot that only lives in the alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. They are endangered, with less than 5000 left living in the wild. The biggest problems are threats to the young birds from possums and weasels, which were introduced to New Zealand and have huge populations now.


The adjective most often used to describe them is "cheeky", which showed up in nearly all our guidebooks. We saw them several times, including this one at Arthur's Pass, shortly before he tried to disassemble our rental car. They are also known to steal things from tourists.


Groups of kea are called a "circus" - which seems pretty accurate!

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Taken on March 19, 2012