|Photo by SidPix|
The Kea has a life span of 14 to 20 years of age, stands 16-19 inches tall, and weighs between 31 to 35 ounces. The males and the females have basically the same coloring; which is a dull olive green, their feathers are edged with a dark brown giving them a scalloped look. Their breast is greenish-bronze, the underside of their tail is green and blue with orange and yellow tips, their crown is a yellowish-green and their bill is a solid brown.
One reason they might be called mountain parrots is that their feathers are so thick they can tolerate the cold, snow, and windy conditions in the mountains. Their long slim bill is used to find food between the rocks, they also dig for food using their talons which are long and sharp.
The Kea's diet in the wild consist of seeds, fruits and berries, roots, leaves, flowers and being omnivorous they eat insects, worms and they also other dead decaying animals.
They are very intelligent and very nosy (like they say inquiring minds want to know), if one bird sees something of interest they all will be interested also. They seem to have no fear of humans at all. They will peck the rubber tires on vehicles and sometimes even cause damage; they will carry away anything they can get in their beak, from food to toys and even clothing.
Kea parrots are very social birds and live in groups of 10 to 14 birds They will even help each other to find food and once found will share it with others. This also is a learning experience for the younger Kea parrots.
If a person is thinking about owning one of these parrots they better be able to interact with them because they demand a lot of attention and can be very destructive. Their cage should be at least a sixteen-foot square. Individuals do poorly in captivity so if you are really brave I would suggest at least having two, to keep each other company when you are not there, if that isn't an option try hanging some mirrors so he doesn't feel so alone.
Toys are a necessity to provide the activities that these curious and intelligent birds must have to stay physically and emotionally healthy. Give toys that require them to solve a problem; like taking something apart to find food such as dried fruit or nuts or something else to chew on or just taking what he found apart, anything that will stimulate and keep them busy.
Remember also the Kea parrot loves to dig and play in dirt put a box of dirt in the corner of his cage and hide pine cones, nuts, pieces of wood, rattles, and if you can stand it why not some worms.