A sensational snow parrot
Guest Blogger: Campaign Manager for the Kea, Corey Mosen
Kea have had a bad rap in the last few centuries, they get hassled for all sorts of things. Firstly it was that they didn’t make a good traditional feed and rocks had more nutritional value, then they got the blame for destroying live stock in the high country and in more recent years they are persecuted for meticulously destroying car’s rubber linings and wiper blades.
What was the Human race’s answer to fixing this problem, kill them all!! There was a bounty placed on Kea and professional hunters made a living by culling the birds from High Country stations. Kea numbers are now estimated at around 1000-5000 due to the high impact that the culling had on the population.
Kea should be bird of the year because they have faced the most successful and vindictive predator of them all and survived to tell the tale.
It’s now your turn to make up for past mistakes of our ancestors and vote for Kea for bird of the year. Compare yourself to a Kea, they live in one of the harshest habitats there is and are continuously presented with shiny, colourful things, cars, buildings, tents and ski fields. What else is there to do but inspect them? A lot like humans, Kea always like to know how things operate and figure this out by careful dissection. It’s not their fault that humans keep resupplying them with new material and just maybe if they are finally given the recognition they deserve they might start leaving peoples belongings alone.
And why aren’t New Zealanders referred to as ‘Keas’ instead of ‘Kiwis’. By making the Kiwi our national bird it’s like saying New Zealanders are slow, dim witted, drab and unexciting. We are better off comparing ourselves to a bird that is charismatic, curious, highly intelligent, innovative and not to forget striking to look at it. Kea are all of the above. A bird that spends it’s free time hanging out in Ski fields has to be pretty damn onto it. What other bird would have the audacity to take wake up slumbering trampers by undoing their bootlaces or even rearranging their tents and belongings while they are up away in the hills.
So vote for Kea for Bird of the year, give them the spotlight and hopefully together we will be able to halt their decline.