Hi, let me introduce myself, I’m a cheeky kea, an alpine parrot that lives in mountainous forested areas of the South Island. Let me tell you what I get up to in my daily life, on a normal day.
When the sun rises over the mountains, it signals a new day. It is chilly at night but luckily I have a plump body and a thick coat of feathers to keep me warm. I love to socialise so the first thing I do is fly to a rocky outcrop to meet up with my fellow kea. I usually call out with a long, loud, high-pitched cry,
“Ke - ee -ea- ea” to converse with my kind. It can sometimes get very windy in high up areas where I hang out but I don’t mind, I’m used to it.
After a brief conversation with my peers, I fly off to find some trees and scrub. I flap my strong wings through the air while searching below me for a promising area to land. After a few minutes, I spy an area that I believe contains fruits, leaves, nectar and plant shoots. I am not a picky eater, I will eat a large variety of foods - YUM! Sometimes I might even dig in the soil for insect larvae or excavate rotten logs for huhu grubs. Huhu grubs are my favourite! I gobble them up instantly with my slender, grey and black bill.
I like to be busy and keep my brain active so I always like to find things to do. Sometimes my species is seen as mischievous or even naughty but that’s just human opinion. I prefer to say that we are inquisitive, persistent and creative. Whenever I see humans in MY habitat, I just love to see what you strange creatures are up to. Some of you seem to really like the cold and enjoy moving down the snow on these strange wooden boards. You also travel in some solid, fast moving objects; I think you call them cars? Well, those contraptions make great toys for me to play with. I just love to rip and pull on all the black, rubbery parts.
Unfortunately, I do need to be careful sometimes to protect myself from harm. These annoying pests called stoats enjoy tormenting and harrassing me. They must think that I look tasty. Sometimes, much to my horror, these thieving animals even steal and eat my eggs that I safely store in hollow logs, rocky crevices or burrows in the soil. Seriously, how rude! All my hard work and devotion ruined by these despicable vermin.
I am a female and I have a mate who is my companion for life. It will soon be time for me to breed and produce some cute, adorable little chicks. I am currently preparing my nest, cushioning it with feathers, soft wood chips, dry moss and lichen to protect the eggs and keep them warm. When the time comes, I will need to sit on my eggs for one whole month. Luckily, my handsome partner feeds me during this time and looks after me so well. What a lucky girl I am!
At the end of the day the sun disappears behind the mountains and the cold, harsh weather sets in again. Most of the time, I like to rest and recuperate when this happens but occasionally I will stay up late to explore. The forest and mountain areas look very different shrouded in darkness and I like to experience all they have to offer. Who knows, maybe I’ll find myself a midnight feast!
Well, I hope you have learnt a little bit more about me, the awesome, intelligent and amusing kea. See you later, I’m off to find another snack...up, up and away!