Meet The Stunning Kea, The Only Alpine Parrot In the World

Kea or Nestor Notabilis

The beauty of nature lies in every creature, whether they are birds or animals. But several bird lovers debate that birds are more enticing as compared to other creatures due to their colorful plumage, striking feathers, and splendid features. Their sound is also magical. Some birds have exceptional features to survive in extraordinary circumstances. 

Today we are going to talk about the stunning Kea which is the only alpine parrot in the world. They are olive green with bright orange under their wings and have large, narrow, curved, gray-brown upper beaks. Surprisingly Keas are known for their intelligence and curiosity, both are necessary for their survival in a harsh mountain environment. 

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The Kea is also known as the Nestor Notabilis, it is a species of large parrot in the family Nestoridae. Apart from striking colorful feathers, Kea can survive in alpine regions. 

Let’s read more about Kea or Nestor Notabilis. 

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Kea is a large parrot.

Kea or Nestor Notabilis

Keas are large parrots that measure 46 to 50 cm in length and weigh between 750 to 1000 grams. According to reports, some specimens possibly reach 55 cm in length.

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They have olive-green plumage with a gray long, narrow, and curved upper beak. Adults of Kea have dark-brown irises, and eye rings and legs are gray. They have orange feathers on the undersides of their wings. 

 

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They have different colored feathers on the parts of their body.

Kea or Nestor Notabilis

The feathers on the side of their face are dark olive brown, but the feathers of their back and rump are orange-red, and some of the outer wings are dull blue. 

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Their tails are short, broad, and bluish-green with a black tip. 

Males and females Kea have some differences.

Male Kea is about 5% longer than females, and their upper beak is also longer than that of females. 

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Habitat of Kea

Kea ranges from lowland river valleys and coastal forests of the South Island’s coast to alpine regions of the South Island. 

Kea is polygynous, and one male is attached to multiple females.

Kea or Nestor Notabilis male and female

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Kea is a social bird and lives in groups consisting of up to 13 birds. 

Juveniles of Kea generally resemble adults, but they have yellow eye rings and care, including an orange-yellow lower beak and gray-yellow legs.

Kea is one of the few parrot species in the world that spend most of their time above the tree line. 

They breed mostly in South beech forests, located in steep mountainsides, at a height of 1600 meters and higher above sea level. 

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Usually, they nest on the ground underneath large beech trees, in rock crevices, or dug burrows between roots. They furnish their nests with lichens, moss, ferns, and rotting wood. 

The Kea is an omnivorous bird.

Kea or Nestor Notabilis

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Kea feeds on more than 40 plant species, beetle larvae, grasshoppers, snails, and other birds such as shearwater chicks. 

Kea is also called “the clown of the mountains”, and its notorious urge makes it both a pest for residents and an attraction for tourists. Maybe that’s why they are called stunning Kea.

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Well, all birds are adorable. Along with being a significant part of our ecosystem, they add grace to the environment and make soothing sounds. But, many species of birds have been extinct due to disturbed ecological balance, hunting, and poaching. The number of birds has drastically reduced due to the increase in the use of toxins, pollutants, and other dangerous chemicals which is not a good sign for our environment.

 

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