Recently Laura headed up in to the Arthur’s Pass area on a sponsored flight to check on some of the kea that carry transmitters.
These transmitters enable researchers to determine kea status (e.g. alive/dead/nesting etc), as well as what they’ve been up to, and some sense of where they are. It’s an important tool in assessing kea populations, as well as understanding nesting success.
Laura is pleased to report that three kea (Hehu, Golrhiz & Morgan) were all showing an ‘alive’ signal, which is positive. Another two kea were unable to be tracked, suggesting flat batteries—the transmitters are designed to naturally fall off the over time.
Also, keep an eye out for fledgling kea in the hills—there’s a few out and about at this time of year! They’re identified by their pale feathers on top of their heads, as well as bright yellow colouring around their eyes and base of the beak.