Saturday, October 11, 2008


Parrots are smart, that we know. But is hard to believe that they have a sense of humor? Not for the people who live in the mountains of New Zealand. While I "researched" for this blog, I came across this funny little story:
"One winter, a group of Kea at a Craigieburn Range ski hut came up with a new prank. A small gang of birds waited on the snow-covered roof over the doorway. They were alerted by a nearby sentry each time an unsuspecting occupant was about to exit the hut, and with precision timing would kick snow onto the person's head, cackling raucously. By the following winter, the trick had spread to Arthur's Pass, 30 kilometers away."

Ah, the Kea. In some ways, it looks more like a falcon with its blah coloring and longer, thinner beak. And well, it can eat like a falcon too. Kea are omnivores. They eat fruits and daisies, insects and carrion. When Europeans began to settle in New Zealand, they introduced sheep into the environment. During the harsh mountain winters, farmers would claim that they saw Kea attack the sheep's back and tear out its fat around the kidneys. This was doubted by scientists until 1993 when they captured video of a Kea attacking a perfectly healthy sheep. But for the most part, the Kea sticks to smaller animals and has taken a liking to any human food they can get. Stolen or handed to them. Their relationship with people is mixed. Visitors love to interact with these curious birds only to find that they are a little more curious than they'd like. Kea have a habit of tearing off the rubber parts of cars and pulling out the wiring of ski lifts. Not to mention those pranks they like to pull! Keep your backpacks zipped closed because these guys will pull out anything they like and fly away with it. 
FAVE FOOD: churros
HOME: Southern New Zealand
HOBBIES: talking smack about humans, organizing shiny objects by size
LIFESTYLE: dabbles in polygamy

Being evil little buggers:

Oh, but they're so cute:

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