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Photographer's Note

Meeting with kea on the way to Milford Sound.

The kea is a large species of parrot in the family Nestoridae found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. The kea is the world's only alpine parrot. Now uncommon, the kea was once killed for bounty due to concerns by the sheep-farming community that it attacked livestock, especially sheep. In 1986, it received full protection under the Wildlife Act.

Kea are known for their intelligence and curiosity, both vital to their survival in a harsh mountain environment. Kea can solve logical puzzles, such as pushing and pulling things in a certain order to get to food, and will work together to achieve a certain objective. They have been filmed preparing and using tools.
The kea's notorious urge to explore and manipulate makes this bird both a pest for residents and an attraction for tourists. Called "the clown of the mountains", it will investigate backpacks, boots, skis, snowboards, and even cars (most commonly the rubber areas e.g. window frames), often causing damage or flying off with smaller items.
Current population estimates suggest that between 3000 and 7000 individuals are left.

Bigger beta pictcure

Interesting backpack



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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13401 W: 141 N: 34841] (157280)
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