If you would like to help out kea in your area, you might like to consider becoming a Kea Explorer!
Kea explorers are...
If you fit the bill, are under 12 yrs of age, and would like to help out the kea and its environment you can join up as a Kea Explorer!
Kea Explorers will:
Download our Join Now form to become a Kea Explorer! We will send you out an official KCT Kea Explorer pack which includes a short DVD on kea (so you can tell others about kea!) and a Clever Kiwi 1B5 exercise book featuring the Magnificent Kea which you can use at school.
And make sure you visit our Kea for Kids page in the menu for some great activities!
Kea are one of the few wild animals that choose to interact with people. However there are some people who don't understand kea and don't really like having them around. This is a shame as they are one of the most intelligent and fun loving species that we have here in New Zealand!
You can help kea by...
Keeping kea safe in the wild
You can help keep kea safe by encouraging other people (especially adults) to be safe around kea. You can do this by kea proofing areas:
Tell everyone how great kea are!
You can also help by telling other people how fun, smart and unique kea are. Be ambassadors for kea and tell your friends and family the following:
Teach others about kea
As a kea explorer you will receive a kea information pack which will let you teach your friends, family and class mates about kea!
Many people think kea are being destructive and naughty when they pull apart human property or pull rubber off cars, but they are only only trying to survive in their harsh environment. They are doing what is natural and were here in New Zealand long before people arrived. It is peoples responsibility to keep their gear away from kea and keep kea safe.
Most people think there are heaps of kea but there arent! Kea are endangered and we need to protect those that are left.
Helping captive kea...
There are loads of things you can do for our captive kea!
Kea are held in 30 zoos and parks around New Zealand. Because they are so clever they get bored easily so we need inventive people (just like you!) to help make their lives more fun and to ensure that the captive birds are helping kea in the wild...
Visit our Kea for Kids page for more activities and details.
A growing number of young people and their schools all around New Zealand are getting behind kea conservation by raising awareness and funds to support the KCT's work.
This section will showcase some of the great events that have been held and we hope that this helps others to make the move to support kea in their area.
Tairua School - Year 10 students busking for kea
Jack Zimmerman Campbell and his classmates (Tim Adam and Denise Kahui) of Tairua School went busking in Tairua and raised $59 on Sunday 28th August for the Kea Conservation Trust. Thank you to Jack for organising this and we hope you all enjoyed yourselves!
Photo: Left to right: Denise, Tim and Jack
Other ideas for fundraising:
Learn how to keep your bird healthy and happy!
If you have a pet bird at home in a cage - a canary, budgie, parakeet or parrot - it is important to make their lives as enjoyable as possible. Think how you would like being in the same room all your life, eating the same food, with the same stuff on the walls! It would drive you crazy and it often drives caged birds crazy too!
Living alone in a cage for many birds is not much fun. Many birds as a result develop abnormal behaviours such as pulling their feathers out (feather plucking), constant loud shrieking or repetitive swaying or pacing behaviours (stereotypies). This is a sure sign of stress (and an unhappy bird).
You can make their lives interesting by learning about how the bird you have lives in the wild. You need to know the following:
Many social birds are kept on their own all their lives. Sometimes if a bird hasn't learned how to interact with others of its own species it may not be possible to introduce a new bird. Your bird may be territorial and be unhappy having the same sex bird in its space. If you decide to get a friend for your bird check out the best way to do it before rushing out to get one. If it isn't possible to get a friend for your bird you may be able to have an outdoor aviary during the day so that it can see other wild birds flying around. Make sure any outdoor area is safe from rats and has a warm, dry area out of the sun, wind and rain.
Try and recreate your birds natural environment - it can be alot of fun! If your bird would normally live in a heavily treed area, introduce more branches and leaves in the cage so that your bird feels safer and has more to do (make sure it still has areas to fly to and from!). Birds that live in more open areas may like vantage points to check out their surroundings. Give your bird something different to see by a window (but check for temperature changes - too much sun can cook your bird!)
If your bird lives inside think about what temperature it is in. A bird in a cage cant move to cooler or warmer areas easily so give it the ability to change its temperature by giving it access to a small pool of water (to cool down in) and warm nest areas to warm up in. Dont try and change the heat in the air as birds wont be able to get away and sudden changes could kill your bird! Let your bird choose how cool or warm it wants to be!
Give your bird a variety of foods that mimic what it might eat in the wild - if it likes bugs, you can put rotten logs or clean leaf litter in the cage. You can also put large branches (cabbage tree and coprosma) , and flax flowers in their enclosure - but be careful! Some plants are poisonous so check first before you offer them.
You can also give fruits, veges and seeds in interesting ways that makes them have to use their beaks and feet as they would in the wild.
Does your bird normally fly alot in the wild? Does it spend alot of time foraging for food, socialising with another bird, bathing in shallow pools of water, or building nests? Try and make your birds environment fun and interesting so that it can perform as many natural behaviours as possible.