Kea Bird | Information, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts

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It’s quite tough to believe that there exists a parrot that thrives on everything from berries, fruits, leaves, and nectars to insects, roots, and even feast on mammals. But there is such an unusual parrot and that is Kea bird. Generally, parrots are found in jungles and warmer regions like the Amazon rainforests. However, the Kea bird is one of the exotic bird, a parrot that is native to a cold and challenging mountain of New Zealand’s South Island. It is also known for the world’s only alpine parrot. As it’s one of the rare bird with unique features, it has been a Nationally Endangered species.


The Kea bird is one of the large parrots which is olive green in color with scarlet under wings and a slender grey-black bill. They are mostly found in a length of about 19 inches and weight between 1.8 pounds and 2.2 pounds. But, the female Kea bird has less weight than the male one.

Similarly, male and female Kea bird can be distinguished through their beak. Female has shorter beak which is often less sharply curved. The feathers on the sides of its face are dark olive-brown in color. Whereas feathers on its back and rump are orange-red and few of outer wing are dull-blue.

The tail of Kea bird is generally short, broad, bluish-green with a black tip. And the most interesting feature of this bird is that unlike other birds found in New Zealand which are flightless, Kea bird can fly very well and once you catch a glimpse of them flying, it will be unforgettable.


Not only Kea bird is an unusual parrot that is found in the alpine region of New Zealand but it is also an intelligent bird. It has a curious, charismatic, and mischievous personality. They are also very strong and can tolerate the changing temperature. They tend to be social and found in a group of up to 13.


The most common sound of Kea bird that is heard is “Keeeaaa” during its call and cry due to which it is named as Kea. Mostly their call is long, loud, high-pitched, and sometimes even noisy but still they can also talk more quietly to each other.


Kea birds are considered as omnivorous and they eat everything either plant or animal food like leaves, nectar, fruits, roots, seeds, bugs, larvae, and occasional mammal or birds. Also, they are known for attacking sheep for food due to which it had to lead them to an endangered situation as the farmers or shepherds killed them in large numbers to avoid their attacks but later it got full protection under Wildlife Act.


The lifespan of Kea bird is 15 to 20 years through the oldest known Kea is 50 years in captivity. It means the lifespan can be even more than the average but it depends upon their lifestyle.


Although the Kea bird is one of the endangered species, the sale of it is legal. And the price of this bird is around $25000 but its price differs as per the age and features of it.


Kea birds have been raised as a pet before being protected but later when it is difficult to find them. Due to their destructive nature, they are rarely kept as a pet. But if you are thinking of buying and raising them then you should keep in mind that the more you give them a calorie-rich diet, the more destructive they become. So as per the need, they should be feed and as it is one of the endangered species, you have to give lots of attention to them so that they won’t be hurt or to stop them from damaging things and hurting others.

Some Interesting Facts of Kea Bird

1. Kea bird is the clown of the mountain and only one alpine parrot in the world.

2. The beak of Kea is long and gracefully curved. And, the female beak is somewhat smaller than the male one.

3. They are intelligent, curious, and beautiful but they are also destructive.

4. They can breed each year and are meant to mate for life.

5. Usually, female Kea bird lay 2 to 5 eggs at a time per year.

6. They are very clever that they can be trained to move items in a certain order.

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