At first I thought this was funny, but I guess it did create a big mess for the person whose passport was stolen. Still, it’s pretty typical of keas to pilfer people’s stuff like this. I’ve been to Milford Sound and the keas there are not at all afraid of people. The pictures at the end of this article are keas I saw there.
Brazen NZ parrot steals passport, heads into bush
Polly wants a passport — and isn’t above stealing one.
A brazen parrot, which spotted a Scottish man’s passport in a colored bag in the luggage compartment under a tour bus, nabbed the document and made off into dense bush with it, the Southland Times newspaper reported Friday.
The bird — a parrot of the Kea variety — made its move while the bus was stopped along the highway to Milford Sound on South Island, and the driver was looking through the compartment. Milford Sound, which runs inland from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by sheer rock face, is part of Fiordland National Park, a world heritage site and major travel destination.
Police told the newspaper the passport has not been recovered and is unlikely to be located in the vast Fiordland rain forest.
“My passport is somewhere out there in Fiordland. The Kea’s probably using it for fraudulent claims or something,” the passport owner, who did not want to be named, told the newspaper.
A replacement passport from the British High Commission in Wellington could take six weeks and cost up to $250.
“I’ll never look at a Kea in the same way,” the man was quoted saying.
Kea, the world’s only snow line-dwelling parrot, are widely known as inquisitive birds who appear to take delight in attacking rubber items like windshield wiper blades.
Native to New Zealand, the birds are found only in or near South Island mountains, where they live in high-altitude beech forest and open sub-alpine herb fields that stretch up into the snow line.
Covered mainly in brown and green feathers, they have large flashes of bright orange feathers under their wings.
Hooray! My Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Mitri got his picture on the cover of the June, 2009 issue of Parrots magazine!
The top of the magazine cover got a bit cut off because the magazine is a touch bigger than the area my scanner can scan.
“Parrots” magazine is published in the UK and their website is: www.parrotmag.com
This is the magazine I write the most for. It tends to have a nice variety of articles in each monthly issue on companion parrots, breeding, rescue, conservation and wild parrots.
For people who like to subscribe to magazines, here’s a list of all the parrot magazines I know of:
Bird Talk – Published in the USA. Monthly. It’s mainly oriented to pet parrot owners, but also has stuff on other pet birds like finches and pigeons.
Good Bird – A quarterly magazine on parrot care, especially training parrots with positive reinforcement.
Australian Bird Keeper – Published in Australia. Covers all types of birds kept in Australia by aviculturalists. I haven’t subscribed yet, but intend to.
PsittaScene – This is the World Parrot Trust’s quarterly newsletter, which is sent out to members of the trust.
Watchbird – The journal of the American Federation of Aviculture. It’s oriented to bird breeders, and has information on parrots and other birds.
There are also some e-magazines (magazines published online) about parrots. Actually, two of the magazines above (“Good Bird” and “Australian Bird Keeper”) can be sent as e-magazines. The electronic copies are cheaper than the hard copies.
Parrots International Magazine – Primarily about conservation and wild parrots, but also has information on caring for captive parrots.
If any readers know of any that I may have missed, please let me know in the comments below or at jzgurski (at) ualberta (dot) ca.