'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 2 April 2012

What?? A Kea at a Mount Maunganui Beach property?

Yesterday I happened to read an article in the local rag that reported that a local resident, a Mr Kuipers von Laude, noticed what he identified as a Kea (a New Zealand native parrot species) sitting in his camellia hedge. He realised what a rare occurrence this was, and phoned the local Department of Conservation, who apparently (the article said) said that it was quite common to see Keas in this part of the country.

Now, as even YP knows, Kea are alpine parrots, and can be found in the South Island, although fossil evidence suggests they lived in the North Island up to 10,000 years ago.
Unless this Kea is 10,000 years old, I suggest it is actually a Kaka, possibly flown over from nearby Mayor Island (where there is a breeding programme in operation).

What do you think? The bird on the left is the one from the Mount Maunganui hedge in the article, the top right is an image of a Kea, and the bottom right, a Kaka.

And finally, Here is a link to the kinds of activities Kea - very intelligent and curious parrots get up to in the South Island mountainous areas. I'm very happy for them to stay down there, thank you very much!


  1. I would suggest that it's not a good idea to rely on DoC chappies if that's the quality of their advice. However I've always found those I know to be pretty well informed.

  2. PS 'chappies' is like 'guys' these days used to encompass both the masculine and the feminine (in line with the Interpretation Act!).

  3. I strongly suspect that the Doc chaps and chapesses were miss-quoted. They'd know the difference between the chances of it being a Kaka or a Kea.

  4. I strongly suspect it is a rather large sparrow - our whole nation needs to buck up its ideas regarding a healthy diet is all I can say.

  5. Ah, that's a .... new idea. I'm feeling rather guilty now. I've been feeding the local sparrows rather a lot.

  6. What do you mean EVEN YP? Am I a mental defective? As a kea expert of internatiol renown, I wish to inform the oddly named Mr Kuipers von Laude that the bird he spotted was a hybrid species - the katherine bird. Very secretive - usually raises a clutch of three chicks and likes to nest by rivers. Also partial to muffins, cheese and visits to art galleries.

  7. Ah, right YP. Whatever you say YP. (sotto voce: "and this is the guy who is organising Blogland for us all. What are we in for?!")

  8. @ Katherine - I would rather have "A kea" than "I kea"!
    re: YP's comments - God help us all when Damien Hirst's diamond encrusted cheese muffin goes on display then!

  9. Hello Foxy (and welcome to TLVD!). Actually we don't have ikea in NZ, although I know about them from bloggers. They are household furniture I think? Don't you like them?

    And I didn't know Hirst did a muffin... oh maybe you are teasing!? Ha.

    Although, having been sucked in and done a search, I have discovered his amazing butterfly 'painting' which I didn't know about!

  10. Since writing this post about the Kea/Kaka that was 'seen' at Mount Maunganui, the paper has corrected the sighting. The parrot was, of course, a Kaka, not a Kea.


    However, I notice they've still got the photos 90º rotated! Sigh. Oh Well.