50 thoughts on “I have seen a kea

  1. Jerry, your travels to see the kea remind me a bit of this cartoon. What if you travel to NZ, see remarkable places, meet people you would never otherwise meet, experience a different culture, and all you see is one kea? 🙂

    1. Love your cartoon — too bad this was not the attitude adopted on 1973 during the 1st “OPEC crisis” Can’t imagine where we would be now

    2. I’m not sure what you mean. I’ve been to incredible places and met nice people, and will meet many more people and go to many more places. I was simply determined to see a kea in the “wild.”

      1. I think what eric was getting at was, the trip will have been worth it (we hope) even if you never saw a kea.


        1. Indeed! I would greatly envy your trip to NZ, even if you spent interminable hours on multiple bus trips to not-see a parrot. Because you’d still have seen NZ, and I have not. 🙂

    1. He (or she) is a real cutie. Which brings up a question for the kea experts: is there any way to tell a he from a she in a picture like this?

      1. While not foolproof, you could try crouching down and seeing if it attempts to have sex with your neck.

  2. Snatching victory from the beaks of defeat?
    Actually, looking at those beaks and the talons, snatching victory from de beaks and de feet while keeping all fingers attached is some achievement.

        1. So you’re robin me of humor? (I tried and tried to make something out of phainopepla, but I’m not as good as I’d hoped.)

          1. Try kiwikipedia for some ideas.

            (And by the way, why hasn’t some enterprising New Zealander started a page about NZ titled “Kiwikipedia”? Seems like a glaring omission in the internet’s offerings, now that I think about it.)

  3. Quite a life’s achievement. Your camera has video mode doesn’t it? I’d like to see you in conversation with the little beast, if possible.

    1. Though we (North Island) do have a couple of real mountains (Taranaki and Ruapehu, both volcanoes and therefore not of great extent as mountain ranges go) and many rugged hill ranges up to about 5000 feet which would certainly be classed as mountains back in England – no we don’t have any kea in North Island. Other than ‘vagrants’. (So says Wikipedia).


  4. Little known facts…

    Keas are highly organised and operate in gangs.

    They have been known to strip a parked car of all rubber linings in under a minute. The more enterprising groups, can even jack your car up and steel your tires.

    The rubber is then sold on the black market.

    1. You undestimate them. It is smuggled to Finland and sold to Nouseva Myrsky (google her)to make inner tube jewelry

  5. Congratuĺation on seeing a Kea in the wild.
    Although probably less intelligent than the Kea, I would want to see a kiwi in the wild, an ‘avian mammal’, if anything.
    And some Moas and Haast’s eagles, but 😭😭😭

  6. I remember watching a documentary that was looking at the problem solving skills of different birds. In order to get at food items inside a container the birds had to unlock it by performing various steps in sequence. Various birds were tried including tits (chickadees) and crows and it was remarkable to see the complexity of the puzzles they could solve. Keas were also involved in the test and they too invariably managed to get at the food. Trouble was, however hard the experimenters tried, the Keas always managed to subvert the test by getting at the food in the ‘wrong’ way! Very smart and fascinating birds; I would love to see one in the wild.

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