Kea are the world's only alpine parrots, found only on New Zealand's South Island. They are extremely intelligent with a highly developed sense of curiosity, which can lead to them being a bit of a nuisance at times. They got on my NZ bucket list when I watched a documentary about Milford Sound and saw footage of them gleefully destroying tourists' rental cars by ripping off windshield wipers.
Fast forward almost a year, and there I was in Milford Sound, on an epic quest to find kea. I had already passed by the spot where I had seen them on the documentary, a large pullout right before the Homer Tunnel, that was at the time, woefully devoid of kea. However, having chosen to stay at the only hostel in Milford Sound, I became hopefully again when I realized the nearby patch of jungle clamoured with shrieking parrots. And sure enough, I heard the sounds of a kea on the hostel grounds and went running out with my camera. I was lucky enough to have found a wee group of three kea that basked in the attention of myself and the few other people that had come out to see them. I soon realized that they were so curious about us, the zoom lens I brought was mostly useless, as they would waddle right up to us inquisitively.
Even the kea thinks this guy might be overcompensating with his lens
Working hard to destroy a possum trap
Working hard to destroy a manhole cover
Contemplating working hard to destroy a pair of boots
But thankfully distracted by the pretty bird in the mirror