This border collie is busy saving New Zealand's endangered parrots

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At the end of the video when the guy says “leave it,” I was more worried for the dog than the parrot.

Keas are noted for their curiosity and intelligence, and are very handsy with their beaks, doing things such as prying pieces off of cars. They behave pretty much like very smart monkeys would, and seem to occupy that kind of evolutionary/ecological niche in the bird-centered ecosystem of NZ.

Keas’ resourcefulness and ground nesting behavior have however made them vulnerable and they now number only 3,000-7,000 birds in the wild.

But keas were just voted by (human) Kiwis the NZ Bird of the Year, so hopefully this attention will help them:


OMG - the moment in the video when the guy goes headfirst down that hole, I slammed my laptop lid shut and curled up in the fetal position. After a few minutes rocking under a blanket, I returned only to warn others.


Wasn’t that bad. I wouldn’t do it, though.

Also, that guy and his dog are both awesome. That is all.


There’s a good boy, Brent!


My favorite kea story:

I did a hike while on vacation on the South Island back in 2007 (Avalanche Peak, IIRC) where several kea greeted us at the top. They have a reputation of being mischevious. Here is one having a go at my boot.

Ignore my finger there

There were a few people up there eating lunch and one guy dropped his camera case. It dropped a little way down the hill; not so far that he wouldn’t be able to retrieve it but far enough that he had to get up.

He started towards it but a kea quickly hopped down there and grabbed it. He put it on his head and wore it like a hat for a bit

and then as if to mock the guy he tossed it off the side of the cliff. I almost fell off myself laughing.

I’ve loved those birds ever since. They are wonderful, but hang on to your stuff if you see one.


Okay, dammit, I’m still not a dog person. But that’s a very good dog there.


Nah, nah. The professor is right. Somewhere in New Zealand there’s a kea hole with just the right internal geometry to trap an upturned human, irretrievably so, and this man and his amazing dog are going to find it. I mean, what happens then? The kea can’t get out of its hole because there’s this dying dude in the way, and in addition, the dog will be very sad. :cry:

I watched a kaka (low-land relative of the kea) whittling away at a stick, holding it in one claw and delicately nibbling. Every so often it would remove the stick from beak and examine it carefully to determine where to nibble next. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to make an Allen key or a lock-pick.



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