Meet The Kea, The Clever Clown From NZ: 8 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know

The kea is definitely an extraordinary bird.

AKA Nestor Norabilis, this bird comes from New Zealand where the locals call it a mountain parrot. They are currently endangered.

The kea is a unique alpine parrot with olive-green feathers that blend into a sort of teal blue on the edge of the wings.

Keas are fun-loving bird, and with its amusing nature, it entertains the people. 

Keee-aaa! Their name comes from their loud high-pitched call.

They are a type of parrot, similar to the regular parrots we all know.

They have four toes. Two point forwards and two point backwards. This way, the bird can manipulate objects and move around on the trees.

Their plumage is stunning. With olive-emerald edges, black and bright orange, and barred yellow and black feathers hidden under the wings.

The orange feathers are only visible to other birds and insects and cannot be seen by the human eye due to the color being found in the UV spectrum.


The kea eats both plants and animals, meaning its omnivorous.

They like trees and plants, but also enjoy bugs and larvae from the ground. They are even known to feast on other animals such as baby shearwater birds, scavenge deer and sheep carcasses.

Kea is a very clever bird. The animal is brilliant and intelligent and scientists concluded after some research that a kea bird is as wise as a four-year-old child.

The young Kea birds learn beneficial foraging skills from the older ones so by the time they are fully grown, they will also be very skilled.

This unique species of bird can only be found on the Southern Island of New Zealand. Although they are usually close to the alpine zones, you may also find them in coastal regions.

Their nesting place is in their native forest, where they prefer to lay their eggs on the ground and in crevices. The male will look for the female and the babies to bring them food.

Kea couples are very territorial. A reeding male and female will have their whole territory only for themselves, and you won’t find another kea couple there.

As with all birds, males and females are slightly different. The females are smaller and have shorter beaks.

If it ain’t bolted down. They can find a solution to logical puzzles, like pushing, pulling, and turning things to find food. Also, they work together in groups to reach a specific goal.

Kea birds are notorious for their curiosity, they are known to be good at solving puzzles and for being huge adventurists. I bet you didn’t expect us to say that about a bird.

Written by Joe Kahlo

After years of writing in the financial industry, Joe was finally able to focus his writing on what he loves, Animals!