This wee fella is a Kea. A New Zealand native alpine parrot. We’ve seen many Kea before, they’re usually found in alpine environments of the South Island which are some of our favourite areas – such as Fiordland National Park and Arthur’s Pass.
Every time we come across them they never fail to entertain those around them. They are highly social birds and tend to waddle round carparks and scavenge food from the tourists whenever possible. You’re not meant to feed them, but they are so cute people can’t seem to help themselves. We’ve discovered over time they have a fondness for potato chips.
Kea are often referred to as being highly intelligent and very curious. If left alone for too long though these cheeky wee birds are attracted to rubber. In most carparks where they’re found, you’ll find warnings to drivers as they’ve been known to chew the rubber seals round car windows, windscreen wipers and mirrors.
We met this little fellow on our journey to Doubtful Sound and managed to snap these photos in between sandflies and rain drops. As the bus driver was unloading the undercarriage of the bus this cheeky wee bird was hopping in and out of the undercarriage as he sought cover from the persistent rain.
They really are cute, highly entertaining and entirely lovable…if you ever get a chance to see them in real life you’ll understand why.
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