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Snow parrots

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I think they're called Kias or something like that. Are they found at some ski areas and, if so, which ski areas?
post #2 of 4
Keas. Supposedly the world's only real alpine parrots. Found in NZ. Cool. Wicked smart. Vindictive. Not sure exactly which ski fields. Maybe Julie or one of the other Kiwis will jump in and answer that part...

post #3 of 4
Spindrift is correct, they are called 'Keas' and they live in the alpine in the alpine. if I could chose what animal I could back in my next life as, it would be a kea. They get to live in the mountains, above the snow line, and soar over the mountains all day long.

They look like this, and are orange under their wings, and would stand about 40cm tall.


They are very intelligent and are not afraid of humans. Very inquisitive and cheeky. They are plentiful at Treble Cone and know how to work the tourists for food, even thought here are plenty of signs not to feed the keas. If they have no luck with food, they will just rip any soft rubber off your cars instead, just for fun - youd swear their sqawks are them laughing at you. They are at most ski areas, although I have not seen as many at Cardrona, or Coronet Peak. Many skiers have returned to find the rubbers gone from their ski racks, or in pieces on the ground. At the club areas like Craigieburn, where you can stay overnight, or for a week, the regulars put a net over their cars to stop the damage.

I don't have a problem with them shredding the rubber on my car, I am the one who parked it in their environment. I now use a roof box which has no rubber, and also keeps the dust out of your bindings on our gravel roads.

Discovery channel did some research to find the smartest animals and these gys come out top. they don't need to watch something being done to work out how to do it, they figure it out for themselves. Including how to open the door bolts on tramping huts. If they get in, they shred anything and everything they can get their beaks into.

They are one of the few known birds to 'play'. Someone reported once seeing them sliding down the snow on a piece of sacking or fabric, then picking it back up, flying up the hill and sliding down again, a group took turns. This was quoted in NZ National georgraphic so I am assuming it is a credible report, would not surprise me at all.

In summary, they are cool! and you won't have trouble getting up close and personal at Treble Cone, just sit on the deck outside and eat your lunch.

Until man arrived and infested our country, it was only populated by birds, and one mammal, a bat. Anything else you see is intrroduced, including mice, rats, possums, deer.
post #4 of 4

From the Remarkables, last Aug. 24.
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