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Nestor notabilis - Kea


Nestor notabilis - Kea
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Reekie (LordPotty) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1381 W: 144 N: 3872] (12503)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-11-03 1:14
Viewed: 5070
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Another shot from yesterdays trip up to Arthurs pass with Murry and Elizabeth.
The Kea would have to be my favourite New Zealand bird.
I had great fun playing with them at the lookout above the Otira Gorge and in the village.Even in the wild,they will get close enough to eat from your hand.

Here is the information on Keas again,copied from yesterdays post:

Kea
Nestor notabilis

The Kea (Nestor notabilis) is a species of parrot (family Psittacidae) found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. The Kea is one of the few alpine parrots in the world, and includes carrion in an omnivorous diet consisting mainly of roots, leaves, berries, nectar and insects. Now uncommon,the Kea was once killed for bounty as it preyed on livestock, especially sheep, only receiving full protection in 1986.

Kea are legendary for their intelligence and curiosity, both vital to their survival in a harsh mountain environment.

Most people only encounter wild Kea at South Island ski areas. The Kea are attracted by the prospect of food scraps from human habitation. Their curiosity leads them to peck and carry away unguarded items of clothing, or to pry apart rubber parts of cars - to the entertainment and annoyance of human observers. They are often described as "cheeky".

Taxonomy and naming:
The Kea was described by ornithologist John Gould in 1856. Its specific epithet, the Latin term notabilis, means "noteworthy".The common name is from Māori, probably representing the screech of the bird. The term Kea is both singular and plural.

Classification:
The genus Nestor contains three species: The Kākā (Nestor meridionalis), the Kea (N. notabilis), and the extinct Norfolk Island Kākā (N. productus). All three are thought to stem from a 'proto-Kākā', dwelling in the forests of New Zealand 15 million years ago.The closest relative is most likely the Kākāpō (Strigops habroptilus).
A 2005 sex chromosome spindlin DNA sequence study suggests that the Nestor species, and the Kākāpō in its own genus, comprise an ancient group that split off from all other Psittacidae before their radiation,but fossil evidence seems to contradict this given the violent geological history of New Zealand (see, for example, Taupo Volcanic Zone), other explanations such as episodes of genetic drift seem better supported by evidence.

Distribution and Habitat:
The Kea (Nestor notabilis) is one of seven parrot species endemic to New Zealand. The other mainland species are the Kākā (Nestor meridionalis), the Kākāpō (Strigops habroptilus), and three species of Kākāriki: the Yellow-crowned Parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps), Red-crowned Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) and the Orange-crowned Parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi). The seventh New Zealand parrot species is the Antipodes Island Parakeet (Cyanoramphus unicolor)), endemic to the subantarctic islands after which it is named.

The Kea ranges from lowland river valleys up to the alpine regions of the South Island such as Arthur's Pass and Mt. Cook National Park, closely associated throughout its range with the southern beech (Nothofagus) forests in the alpine ridge. Its notorious urge to explore and manipulate, combined with strong neophilia, makes this bird a pest for residents and an attraction for tourists. Called "the clown of the mountains", it will investigate backpacks, boots or even cars, often causing damage or flying off with smaller items.

Population estimates range from 1,000 to 5,000 individuals, but its widespread distribution at low density prevents accurate estimates.Together with local councils and runholders, the New Zealand government paid a bounty for Kea bills because the bird preyed upon lifestock, mainly sheep.It was intended that hunters would kill Kea only on the farms and council areas that paid the bounty, but some hunted them in national parks and in Westland, where they were officially protected. More than 150,000 were killed in the hundred years before 1970, when the bounty was lifted.In the 1970s the Kea received partial protection after a census counted only 5000 birds. It was not fully protected until 1986, when farmers gave up their legal right to shoot any Kea that tampered with property or livestock. In exchange, the government agreed to investigate any reports of problem birds and have them removed from the land.

Life Span:
In the wild, undocumented, but estimated to be 15 years
Breeding:
At least one observer has reported that the Kea is polygamous, with one male attached to multiple females. The same source noted that there was a surplus of females.In one study, nest sites occur at a density of 1 per 4.4kmē.The breeding areas are most commonly in Southern Beech (Nothofagus sp.) forests, located on steep mountain sides. Breeding at heights of 1600m above sea level and higher, it is one of the few parrot species in the world to regularly spend time above tree line. Nest sites are usually positioned on the ground underneath large beech trees, in rock crevices or dug burrows between roots. They are accessed by tunnels leading back 1m to 6m into a larger chamber, which is furnished with lichens, moss, ferns and rotting wood. The laying period starts in January and reaches into July. 2-4 white eggs are laid, with an incubation time of around 21 days.

Diet:
An omnivore, the Kea feeds on more than 40 plant species, beetle larva, other birds (including shearwater chicks) and mammals (including sheep and rabbits).The Kea has also taken advantage of human garbage and "gifts" of food.In captivity, the bird is fond of butter, nuts, apples, carrots, grapes, mangoes, figs, bread, dairy products, ground meat and pasta.

gannu, haraprasan, bahadir, xTauruSx, boreocypriensis, rousettus has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-11-03 1:33]

I think I could reach out and touch him Steve - what a good capture of this wonderful parrot.
They are so smart and cheeky, and he looks so content with himself here.
Added to my Favs
Janice

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-11-03 1:51]

Hello Steve,
Perfectly detailed portrait of this Kea in a good composition and beautiful natural colours. It really stands out against the blurred BG, excellent DOF.
Regards,
Peter

hello Steve
nice sharp foto
beautiful bird
i like this picture very mutch
greeting lou

Namastay Steve,
A nice captured portrait of this Kea bird. Superb details and a lovely composition. Many thanks for sharing.
Sincerely
Hara

Hello Steve
A beautiful portrait of this kea with excellent details and sharpness.
TFS and Greetings,
Bahadır

Very beautiful portrait of this beauty Steve.
TFS and greetings,
Deniz

Ohhh... another splendid shot of this beauty with perfect details and clarity my friend!
TFS and cheers,

Bayram

Hi Steve, great portrait of lovely bird with beautiful colors, great details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Steve
what a great portraite famous Kea. superb sharp focus and colors, great POV, composition and eyes contact. Thanks for sharing, well done
Ahmet

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-11-04 3:08]

Hello Steve, Superb focus and brilliant eye catch. Clarity is very nice. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-04 13:58]

A very good portrait of this Kea.
You must have been very close!
Lots of detail and great clarity.
Superb composition.
Nice colours.

Very well done,
Joe

Hi Steve,
This bird is exotic to my eyes, you captured it brilliantly. The detail and colors on the feathers are pin sharp.
Dennis

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