Play

00:00

/

00:00

Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB

HD 0 MB

Captions
Volume
Volume

Kea - Mountain Parrot

Television (Full Length) – 1993

E
Exempt

This documentary tells the story of the inimitable kea. The 'Clown of the Alps' is heralded as the world’s smartest bird (its intelligence rivals a monkey’s). Kea are famous on South Island tracks and ski fields for their insatiable (and destructive) inquisitiveness. Curiosity almost killed the kea when it was labelled a sheep killer, and tens of thousands were killed for a bounty. After shots of baby kea being fed, there is extraordinary night footage in clip four of the 'avian wolf' in action. The award-winning film makes a compelling case for the charismatic kea as a national icon.

These are the mischievous monkeys in parrot's feathers, intoxicated with their own cleverness.
– Narrator Barry Paine on kea hijinks in ski area carparks

Key Cast & Crew

Barry Paine

Narrator, Writer

Rod Morris

Director, Producer

Paul Donovan

Camera

Rod Morris

Director, Producer

Glenda Norris

Associate Producer

Neville Copland

Composer

Produced by

If you liked this, you might also like...

Series

Wild South

TVNZ’s Natural History Film Unit was founded in...

Collection

The Nature Collection

This collection showcases New Zealand's impressive record...

Collection

Snow

The Snow collection features titles about New Zealand's...

Collection

NZ On Screen Turns 10

From Britten to Bugger, this collection celebrates 10...

Wildlife of the Mountains

A 1950s documentary featuring kea

Bandits of the Beech Forest

NHNZ doco featuring the kea’s forest cousin, the kaka

Legend of Birds

Kea feature in this 1962 doumentary

Seven Black Robins

Another dramatic rare bird story from Rod Morris

Birdland - First Episode

A 2009 series on NZ birds

Wildtrack - From Mountains to Sea Floor

Keas feature in this episode from the kids nature show

Bidibidi - First Episode

Stella the kea features in this kids' puppet series

Moa's Ark : To the Lifeboats

More birds on this David Bellamy natural history series

Spot On - First Episode

Also shot by Paul Donovan

Journeys in National Parks: Westland / Aoraki

A documentary featuring kea

The Black Stilt

Another natural history doco directed by Rod Morris

Castles of the Underworld

More music by Neville Copland

Flare - A Ski Trip

Includes scenes shot at The Remarkables ski field

Young Mountains

Documentary on the Southern Alps featuring Kea

Mirrorworld

Kea feature in this NHNZ documentary

Incredible Mountains

More kea and skiing

The Black Robin - A Chatham Island Story

Award-winning bird doco directed by Rod Morris

The Prince of Nosey-Parkers

A 1973 documentary on kea

Uphill

Kea can be heard in this short film

Primeval New Zealand

Another NHNZ show featuring kea

Song of Protest

Also directed by Rod Morris

Loading Docs 2017 - Ajax the Kea Conservation Dog

A short film on kea conservation in 2017

Kākāpō - Night Parrot

Rod Morris's first documentary as director