Kea (or Nestor Notabilis) are the only real alpine parrots in the world. They live above the tree line in alpine and high country regions of New Zealand’s South Island and famous for their curiosity and intelligence.

The Kea’s strong desire to explore makes them an attraction for tourists, however their curiosity often comes with damage to bags, boots, cars and everything else they find interesting. In order to get to the food, Kea are capable of working as a group and solve simple logical puzzles – break here, pull there, steal that.

I’ve seen them once, but that encounter was a great demonstration of their capabilities. First of all, their intelligence is clearly evident and I’m suspecting that they can also read English – why else would they try to destroy a large sign “Do not feed kea?”

Also, I have absolutely no doubts in their ability to work as a team – while I was photographing one Kea, which was very happy to pose and was keeping my full attention, two others were trying to break into our campervan through the ventilation hatch on top of the roof.

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