The biggest problem I have ever had was wasting over an hour photographing a group of 5 who were having a scratch around in the undergrowth for bugs. Not once did I get a photo of the orange under their wings.
At least digital camera have a delete function. My phrofile picture it one Kea scratching the tummy of another. It was taken at the lookout above the viaduct at Arthurs Pass. WL is quite right - they are an absolute delight. Entry level boy scouts in NZ are known as Kea. They are an icon. South Island. Profile JOIN.
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Re: Keas: How much of a concern? Telly N. Destination Expert for Nova Scotia.
Jackson found dozens of kea nests, confirming that they preferred sites at or near the timberline, in natural caves formed by old moraines or in rock and slip debris. But Jackson told me that he had once found a dead possum outside a kea nest. Jackson obviously thought so. When Dick Jackson disappeared on a solo mountain trip in , I recalled his conviction that kea were not the meat-hungry harriers and scavengers that sheep farmers made them out to be; that they were only vegetarians who enjoyed the occasional grub or lump of butter.
I hoped Dick had not found out otherwise. But this process of alpine adaptation seems consistent with mountain-building processes in the South Island which began between 10 and 15 million years ago. A larger and heavier Nestor emerged, with a beak adapted for prying into the stony nooks and crannies of a semibarren landscape, and with a physiology adapted to a cold climate. Worthy and Holdaway found damage to moa bones which had clearly been caused by the beaks of giant Harpagornis eagles preying on moa trapped in the swamp. These forests were dominated by Nothofagus beech and broken up by stony, braided rivers, swamps and tussock grasslands.
The giant eagle starved without the moa for prey, and kea now had to cope only with the occasional furious falcon. Or the odd stray kiore.
Many other native birds in New Zealand are flightless, including the. KEAS may refer to: Knots Equivalent Air Speed, a comparative airspeed corrected for the compressibility of air at high speed or high altitude; KEAS (AM),.
The worst enemy was yet to come. Kea went into the European record books when William Mantell collected a specimen in Southland in By , it had been recorded in all the southern ranges from Nelson to Fiordland. What they mean by this name I know not. It is very tame, sits still to be petted, and screams like a real parrot. Two attended us on our ascent after leaving the bush.
And after the fires came thousands of woolly mammals that scoffed every remaining succulent shrub and berry in sight. First signs of a new sheep disease were reported by shepherds on the Lake Wanaka Station in But what were first taken to be sores in the loin area of sheep were soon seen to be wounds caused by an unidentified animal. Kea attacked sheep in flocks of up to They ran sheep to death. The question he and everyone else failed to ask was, what did all those kea eat during winter before there were sheep? Take away plants like snow totara through burning and grazing, and kea get hungry, whether it is winter or not.
Kea not only faced competition for food from sheep on the high tussock grasslands, but also, from about the turn of the century, increasing competition in the forests and subalpine regions from introduced deer, chamois and goats, which reached plague proportions. More recently, there has been devastation of the forests by possums.
Kea faced ecological disaster on a large scale. It is not surprising they fought back as best they could.
Or was there recognition of an enemy in them, too? Kill the killers. A bounty was put on kea beaks, financed by run holders, county councils and the Department of Agriculture. The value varied over the years, but in the s it was ten shillings per beak: five shillings from the government and half a crown each from run holder and county. An estimated total of , kea killed in the years from can be easily sustained. This is one of the worst cases of avicide in history.
Regular inoculation of sheep against blood poisoning drastically reduced the number of sheep lost to kea attack. And slowly it came to be accepted that not all kea directly attacked animals. Remove that bird and the attacks ceased. On a third farm at that time, 23 sheep died and many others were saved only by prompt use of antibiotics. Dawn and dusk and then night patrols were set up. Farmers and Wildlife Service rangers staked out the paddocks. On September 13, the watchers fell asleep from fatigue and the bird made its biggest strike on 15 sheep in the paddock they slept in. It shifted territory and the attacks continued.
At last, on October 18, the rogue—new tail feathers sprouting—was shot dead as it tormented a tethered wether. The sheep attacks stopped. As recently as , a veterinarian with high country experience said that a reward he had offered 30 years before for conclusive evidence of kea wounding of sheep had still not been claimed. Too often, sheep losses which might have been more accurately attributed to snowstorm, flood, avalanche, accident, sickness or poor husbandry were laid at the beak of the kea. From the s, kea also came into conflict with operators in the burgeoning skiing industry.
And the kea killed themselves, choked by ingested plastic, drowned in water tanks and poisoned from chewing lead-head nails. Life was hard and dangerous in the fast lane. Hasselman is surprisingly relaxed about the fact that, of one mob of merinos put out on the faces last winter, fewer than were mustered in for crutching.
That seems to have been the only way over the last years to deal with the problem. And I say that as a pretty stereotypically shiny Aspie myself! And then I start to wonder how the story would have gone if it had been written by Meda Kahn …. Their rationale for treating us like children was that we acted like children. Of course we did— what choice did we have? Were there any responsible, adult activities to do in this garbage can?
Go to work and pay bills? Not applicable. Care for those younger than us? Marriage and sex? We acted like children because we were treated like children. We acted like children because the role of children was the only role available to us. There are autistic characters. They get stuff to do. They get to be protagonists, they talk to each other, they form strong and devoted friendships, and in the end they work together to save the day.