Known for being incredibly intelligent, the Kea is the world’s only alpine parrot. In the wild, they are found only in the mountains of South Island, New Zealand. Kea like to frolic in the snow and while some migrate seasonally to warmer altitudes, others live permanently above the snow line.
They are mostly olive green in colour with brilliant orange feathers under their wings. Their beak is long and elegantly curved. Kea nest in burrows and crevices on and below the ground. Unlike most parrots, Kea are opportunistic omnivores.
Some scientists think they may be as smart as a four-year-old child. These birds are very social and live in family groups called a circus. They are named for their “kee-ah” vocalization.
Our Kea circus at the Edmonton Valley Zoo is made up of three individuals: males Rondo, who hatched in 1990, and Newton, who hatched in 2011, were recently joined by Marie, who hatched in 2016.