Kea

Australia, New Zealand, Oceania

Description

  • Scientific name is nestor notabilis.
  • Keas have olive green and black primaries, and bright mesmerizing orange, red, black, and yellow underwings. Rare yellow and albino keas have been spotted too.
  • They communicate with a cute, distinctive "kee-ah".
  • Keas weigh 1kg, with a 5 1/2 cm height.
  • The oldest kea recorded was 50 years old.



Food Chain

  • Keas feed on roots, seeds, flowers, other birds' chicks, insects, lizards, and mountain flax.
  • They hunt in meadows, forests and rocky mountains.
  • Keas tend to be omnivores, eating seeds, etc.. insects and lizards.
  • Keas may attack live sheep when desperate. (KCT)


Habitat

  • Keas live in New Zealand, around the Southern Alps.
  • Typically in south island beech forests, alpine meadows and mountains.
  • They can live in harsh climates, variable temperature.
  • Keas usually build nests in mountains or meadows. (KCT)


Adaptation

  • Keas strike to the side with their feet as an attack. (KBP)
  • Keas olive green and black feathers help them blend into the background. (KNN)
  • They've adapted to eat almost anything, and can live at refuse dumps and ski fields. (NN)
  • Keas are intelligent, and may attack live sheep when desperate for food. (KCT)
  • They may also take Huttons Shearwater chicks for food. (KNN)


Critical Info

  • 150,000 Keas were shot in a bounty scheme due to attacking sheep as a source of fat.
  • Keas are prey to stoats, cats, and brush-tailed possums.
  • Threats include deforestaion, lead toxicity, global warming, infectous diseases and limited food source.
  • Keas are protected by law in New Zealand. (KNN)
  • 1080 bombs are used to treat rats and possums which are harmful to Keas' chicks. (KCT)


Kea conversation