Kea parrots are naturally bold and curious, which can get them into all kinds of mischief. Such was the case recently, when the New Zealand Transport Agency’s Milford Alliance were scratching their heads when they kept finding their road cones in odd places.
That is until they checked the surveillance footage and the answer became clear. Looking over the cameras at each end of the one-way Homer Tunnel (the entrance to Milford Sound) they could see kea moving the road cones deliberately into traffic.
“The endearing but mischievous kea have been taking matters into their own talons in an effort (it is thought) to get drivers to slow down or stop and then to feed them,” said the government agency.
“We think the keas listen for the cars in the tunnel and move the road cones between the streams of traffic,” says Milford Alliance Manager Kevin Thompson.
Watch the surveillance video of the naughty keas in action.
There recent roadside mischief lead to the Alliance team cautioning drivers to not feed the birds or to encourage their activity near traffic.
Video on the next page: