Fatcat and Fishface: Birdbrain CD (MP3)
The smartest bird in the world is me aha
Lord of the mountains and everything I see aha
To eat I use my curved and scimitar-like beak aha
To break into your cars I do not a key aha
Kea, kea, kea, cleverest of all
My seven-year old son has decided that his next birthday will be a kea party. He tells me they are his second-favourite bird; after kiwi of course. A recent visit to Arthur’s Pass cemented this amour – his request of seeing a kea was fulfilled with a stop at the Otira Gorge car park. We watched (and played catch with) four kea that were checking us out as much as we were them! While we were there, cars came and went, took photos – threw their lunch onto the asphalt – then left again. Despite all the signs and brochures, people still can’t resist feeding these cheeky beggars – the car park was littered with bread and lunch-wraps.
Turning a child’s interest into action is the next challenge for a parent wanting to raise the next generation of environmentalists. Luckily for us, and for kea, The Kea Conservation Trust offers lots of opportunities for families like us to get involved.
The trust is about to launch into their annual winter kea survey. Anyone can do it; it’s as easy as downloading a survey form from their website to take with you when you venture into kea country, filling it out and sending it in. You can conduct your counts on as many (or as few) Saturday and Sunday afternoons (anytime for as long as you like between 12pm – 4.30pm) throughout July.
What a great reason to escape the Christchurch quake zone and head into the Southern Alps.
For those that want to learn more, Tamsin Orr-Walker, Chair of the Kea Conservation Trust, is giving talks at the visitor centres in Arthur’s Pass and Aoraki / Mt Cook National Parks. She will be in Aoraki/Mt Cook on 1 July, and in Arthur’s Pass in Sunday 3 July.
Find out more on their website: www.keaconservation.co.nz
How much time do you have for kea?
If you have 15 minutes
Purchase a calendar, card or DVD from the Kea Conservation Trust shop; all proceeds support their kea projects.
If you have 1 hour
Listen to a talk given by Kea Conservation Trust Chair Tamsin Orr-Walker; on Friday 1 July in Aoraki/ Mt Cook or Sunday 3 July in Arthur’s Pass.
Check out the Kea Conservation website for other locations.
If you have 5 hours
Take a walk in the Southern Alps and fill out a kea survey form if you spot a kea.
If you have 5 days
Visit some places that people and kea clash like ski fields and national parks. Pick up rubbish and talk to people about why they shouldn’t feed kea.
If you have 1 month
If you have Microsoft Publisher, you could help the Kea Conservation Trust with producing their annual newsletter.
If you have 1 year
Volunteer for one of the three positions advertised on the Kea Conservation Trust website; treasurer; regional liaisons or volunteer co-ordinator.