Omnivorous. Leaves, buds, nuts, berries, fruits, seeds, flowers, pollen, nectar, roots, stems, beetles, grasshoppers, snails, flesh and bone marrow from carcasses, rabbits, mice and even wounded sheep.
Habitat: high-altitude forest and alpine basins
Incubation: 3-4 weeks / 2-4 eggs
Social structure: highly social, groups up to 40 birds. Young males appear to disperse from natal area, while young females remain. As few as 10% of adult males may breed in any given year, this in part due to polygyny by dominant male birds.
Lifespan: 14 under human care
Estimated population in the wild: ~5.000
Threats: Deforestation for pasture causing reduction of food availability, shooting by farmers to protect their sheep, poisoning caused by eating from rubbish dumps.
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
Did you know that:
- Known for their curiosity and cleverness, keas will investigate any new item. They have been known to damage car accessories, dismantle tents in campgrounds and even steal small items.
- It consumes more fruit and disperses more seeds than all other bird species combined in its range
- They take their name from their main call usually sounded while in flight – “kee-aa.” they also communicate through various "facial expressions" and by fluffing their head feathers.