Scientific Name: nestor notabilis
Habitat: high-altitude forests and alpine basins
Diet: leaves, fruit, nuts, seeds, flowers, insects, rodents
Life Span: unknown in the wild (14 – 50 years in captivity)
Young: 2 – 4 eggs per clutch
Size: average length 48 cm

The Kea is a large species of parrot of the found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the worlds only alpine parrot.

The Kea’s plumage is olive-green, with orange-red feathers on the underside of it’s wings. It has a grey beak with a long, narrow, curved upper.

An omivore, the Kea usually eats plant material, but they will also feed on insects, rodents, lizards, sea-bird chicks, and sheep carcasses. Kea forage in the morning and evening, and roost mid-day and at night.

Kea are highly intelligent problem solvers and live in family groups of 30 to 40 individuals. A group of Kea is called a circus.

The Kea is considered Vulnerable due to hundreds of years of overhunting. In 1986 it was given full protection under the Wildlife Act 1953.

To learn more, visit Beauty of Birds or come see the Kea at home in the Edmonton Valley Zoo!