Family New Zealand Parrots (Strigopidae)


Kea (Nestor notabilis)


French: Nestor kéa German: Kea Spanish: Kea

Nestor notabilis


, 1856,

South Island#R#R, New Zealand




Mountains of South I, New Zealand.

Descriptive notes

48 cm; adult mean 922 g. Brown head and underparts with indistinct blackish edges to feathers, shading to dull bronze green on back and wings with stronger black scaling;... read more


The commonest call is a long and loud, descending nasal cry, which may be quavering and burry “kree... read more


Wooded valleys and Nothofagus forests bordering subalpine scrublands at 600–2000 m,... read more

Food and feeding

Changes through year. In Jan birds feed on flowering mountain flax (Phormium colensoi), rata (Metrosideros) and other... read more


Chiefly Jul–Jan, although recorded at all times of year except late autumn. Nest in crevice under rocks or in tree roots, or in... read more


Juveniles form wandering flocks in autumn.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in South Island of New Zealand EBA. Estimating Kea population size is difficult due to their extensive range, rugged... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N., de Juana, E., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Kea (Nestor notabilis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).