Kea: the feisty parrot

Inquisitive, intelligent, bold—kea find humans and their cast-offs every bit as intriguing as we find them. But our relationship with these cocky mountain parrots has not always been so cordial. For over a century, farmers slaughtered kea in their thousands in retribution for their attacks on sheep. Only now, with changes in high-country management and new insights into kea behaviour, are we learning to live with this spirited bird.



Oct - Dec 1994



Tokelau islands

Wild Wellington

Barrington's lost gold




Tokelau-islands of the wind

Homesickness and uncertainty show on the faces of Tokelauans returning to the islands. Although Tokelau is counted as part of New Zealand, living conditions in this last Pacific dependency lag far behind those in the rest of the country, and the islanders are faced with the dilemma of whether to become independent. But in this lonely tropical outpost the cool of the evening brings its own rewards: moonrise moments of timeless charm.


Barrington's lost gold

When the walnut stock of the McCarthy shotgun touched Captain Elch­old's cheek the fate of yet another pigeon seemed inevit­able. With the precision of a gun turret he tracked the bird across the sky and was about to pull the trig­ger. Suddenly, he stopped. The pi­geon crash-landed into the mop of a miro tree, but Elchold's attention was now elsewhere. He lowered his weapon, watching in disbelief.


Flight of the bumblebee

Zooming in like a  mouse on wings, a bumblebee prepares to gorge on a favourite food source: tree lucerne. Cast in popular imagination as quaint, cumbersome and" of no use because they don't make honey," the bumblebee's virtues as a tireless and effective pollinator are only now being appreciated and put tp work. Far from being a droning bumpkin which somehow defies the laws of gravity, the bumblebee is being heralded as the gardener's true friend.

Thanks, you're good to go!

Thanks, you're good to go!

{{ contentNotIncluded('company') }} has not subscribed to {{ contentNotIncluded('contentType') }}.

Ask your librarian to subscribe to this service next year. Alternatively, use a home network and buy a digital subscription—just $1/week...

Go back


Subscribe to our free newsletter for news and prizes


Give it a crack, try NZGeo for $1

Unlimited access to every NZGeo story ever written and hundreds of hours of natural history documentaries on all your devices.

Already a subscriber? Sign in