The Alpine Parrot

The only alpine parrot in the world, called the Kea.

The Kea is the only alpine parrot in the world, meaning the species lives in a very different habitat from other parrots. Most parrots live in tropical regions within the trees  all across the southern hemisphere. The Kea lives in the mountain regions of New Zealand and above the tree which is very unusual for parrots. The bird appears to have an olive-green color and not look quite as exciting as your standard parrot, but when the bird takes flight that changes.

When the bird spreads its wings a beautiful set of colors are revealed. The eccentric colors of the bird led to it being nicknamed “the clown in the mountains” by the people who encounter the nuisance, even a group of Keas are called a circus. They are known to be a pest to tourists by investigating their bags and belongings. The birds are not only beautiful, they are also very intelligent and skilled scavengers. The Kea have been documented in nature using tools of sorts and they have been tested on their brainpower.

Unfortunately, the Kea is in endangered status and has been in full protection since 1986.  When sheep farmers moved into Kea country in the mid 1800’s trouble began to brew between them. Farmers claimed that the birds were attacking and killing their sheep. As time went on there came to be many cases of the birds assault. It came to be accepted in the science community as a behavioral change in the animals. They used their curved beaks to peck at the back of a sheep and eat.

A sheep said to have been killed by Kea

The Kea is a very unusual parrot that I hope you enjoyed reading about. To thank you for reading, enjoy these pics of the orange underside of the gorgeous wings.

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