Tuesday, May 26, 2015

That is if you are in Australia!

I’ve exhibited some bad behavior over the past month or so. Some of that behavior includes not paying attention to my blog. Since my main focus is Australia and since today is ‘Sorry Day’ in Australia, I’m apologizing for that bad behavior. The excuses are numerous, but I won’t bore you with them. Instead, I hope you will accept my apology and enjoy this blog post, which is about a bird that is much like me —notorious for bad behavior. Let’s FLY to New Zealand to learn a bit about the Kea Bird.

The Kea is a parrot – a most unusual parrot. Like other parrots, the Kea has a strong, hooked beak and two toes pointing forward and two pointing back. Most parrots live in trees in tropical climates. Not our friend the Kea. The Kea, which is considered ‘vulnerable’ according to the IUCN*, lives in the mountainous regions of New Zealand’s southern island. It is the only parrot that lives in such conditions.

The Kea is about nineteen inches long and weighs approximately two pounds. It is rather dull when compared to other parrots. It sports olive color feathers, but has orange feathers underneath its wings.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

What I find most interesting about the bird is not how it looks, but how it acts. The Kea has captured the imagination of many ornithologists (fancy word for people who study birds).  This bird exhibits highly intelligent behavior, which comes in very handy considering the difficult environment in which it lives. Scientists have recorded them solving puzzles such as pushing and pulling things in order to get food. They have also been known to use tools.

The most interesting thing that scientists have discovered is that Kea seem to build on what they learn and retain that information in order to solve some future problem. (Just so you know, the word Kea is both singular and plural.)

Their insatiable curiosity has caused them to be called vandals, but you can’t help but envy that curiosity and wonder just what it is that goes through their minds and what drives them to do the things they do.

This video by the BBC, and narrated by David Attenborough, provides you with a close look at Kea behavior. Simply put, it’s fascinating.


Also, if you’d like to learn more about the Kea, visit these sites:

Thanks for stopping by, for accepting my apology and for sharing my blog with your friends and family! It’s truly appreciated.

I’ll be back next week with a look at another unusual animal!

*IUCN = International Union for Conservation of Nature 

Sorry Day in Australia commemorates the mistreatment of Australia's indigenous population, the Aborigines. 

Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza and The Gift of Sunderland
Middle Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!