New Zealand

Kea spotted in Christchurch's Port Hills for first time in years

Sat, Mar 25
A kea spotted in the Port Hills earlier this year.

The Kea Conservation Trust is asking people in Christchurch to let them know of any sightings of kea in the Port Hills, after two were spotted in the area for the first time in many years.

Laura Young, from the Kea Conservation Trust, said a banded kea was spotted this month, and another without a band in February.

She said it was very unusual for kea to be spotted in the Port Hills, and the organisation was keen to have any sightings registered on its database.

"The more information that people put into the database the more useful it is and the more robust data we have on kea and their movements.

"And if people can spot the actual band itself it would be interesting to know where it has come from and was first banded."

Young said it would also be useful to get information about what the specific birds looked like.

"Has it got a long upper bill compared to a short one, and then we could tell if it was a male. Or any yellow around the top of its eyelids, or above the top of its beak. If it has any yellow it is a younger bird, but if there is none of that, it's an adult bird.

"Things like that would be really interesting, and we could know if it is more than one bird, or more than two different birds."

People in the Port Hills area who have pest control traps on their property were also being asked to check if the traps have bird excluders on them, and if not to disarm them until it was clear the birds were no longer in the area.

Young said kea could travel long distances and they might be exploring rather than settling in the area. It was also unlikely there has been a population increase, she said.


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