Due to a life in an extreme alpine environment, kea are encouraged to opportunistically and inquisitively explore their surroundings and will commonly investigate and destroy human belongings.
It has been proposed that life in an extreme alpine environment has encouraged kea to opportunistically and inquisitively explore their surroundings.
Increasingly, the parrots have come into contact with human habitations, sometimes foraging at refuse dumps, ski fields, and cabins.
Kea commonly investigate human belongings, and are known to destroy car accessories, such as windshield wipers and weather stripping, and ski lodge equipment. These birds have also shredded hiking boots and have stolen objects, such as sunglasses. The damage can cause serious problems, such as when the birds rip out car wiring and destroy ski-lift warning systems.
Birds are also sometimes killed through accidents with human objects, such as motor vehicles, snow groomers, rubbish bins, and electricity sub-stations.
• Image | ©️ Bernard Spragg. NZ, Public Domain, (CC0 1.0)
• Sources | (BirdLife International, 2017; Diamond & Bond, 1999; Gajdon, Fijn, & Huber, 2004; Huber & Taborsky, 2001; Tebbich, Taborsky, & Winkler, 1996; Orr-Walker, Kemp, Adams, & Roberts, 2015; Williams, 2001)