Kea

The most mischievous yet intelligent bird is known for its remarkable learning behavior

Mark Whatmough

The birdwatchers love to explore the inquisitive nature of this naughty bird. Most bird species are afraid of humans (rightfully so), but kea loves human interactions. These attention seekers love to play with snow and rubber. Campers get irritated as this bird bites on their rubber tires and steals away treats. They enjoy solving mysteries and puzzles – with a brain comparable to a 4-years old human. You’ll be surprised to see how they figure out ways of opening lids and making snowballs. The cuteness turns into annoyance when kea throws rocks at cats and humans. This notorious behavior often gets them killed though hunting kea is illegal. They nest in holes near tree trunks laying 2 to 5 eggs with extremely low hatching rates. Therefore, captive breeding techniques are required for their survival.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
New Zealand
6,000
Official estimate
EN
2017
Breeding

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No