Denver Zoo hatches kea chick

A Colorado news station announced the successful hatching of a single kea chick (Nestor notabilis), although four eggs were produced. (I wrote about my own sighting of a kea in the “wild” here. )

You can see the report by clicking on the screenshot below, which takes you to a video and to this information (I like the headline):

This [the station doesn’t don’t say what; perhaps artificial insemination] resulted in four eggs, and while zookeepers tried to let the proud parents rear the eggs themselves, they ended up breaking two of them – forcing the zoo to step in and incubate them artificially.

Of those two, only one chick hatched – and that chick is Scarlet. She’ll get to meet her parents when she gets a little bit older, but right now, she’s being hand-raised by zookeepers.

Kea are found mostly in the mountains of the south island of New Zealand. Adults can grow 19 inches long and weigh about two pounds.

Here’s Scarlett. She needs a mate!

Here’s Scarlet being fed (all photos Courtesy Denver Zoo). She’s one of only 38 kea chicks reared in captivity:

And here’s the sister species of the kea: the New Zealand kākā (Nestor meridionalis), which I saw yesterday, and very close up (on our lunch table, and everybody else’s). More pictures tomorrow!


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I heard the reporter say – Third world habitat. I don’t get it?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 31, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I heard the reporter say “…in the zoo’s Bird World habitat”

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Keas are listed as Vulnerable in Wikipedia – I wonder if their egg-breaking is related to that, or their location.

  3. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Kiwi to return home to Hunua Ranges
    North Island brown kiwi will be released this afternoon in the Hunua Ranges, the first of their species to inhabit the area for decades…

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Table #3 your kākā is ready!

  5. rickflick
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    The name kaka suits it’s appearance, somehow. Handsome with a touch of strange. I wonder if it’s one of those bird species that say their name.

  6. alexandra Moffat
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    How is it going to learn to eat on its own? Of course it needs nutrition but wondering how they yeah it to hunt and peck?

  7. Alex Reamy
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Even as chicks, kea have terrifying beaks!

  8. rickmcwilliams
    Posted April 1, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Kakas really like picnic lunches. They will eat yours for you. These bold birds will try to eat it right out of your mouth.

  9. Posted April 3, 2017 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    I would think that unless they habituate it to other kea it will think it is human. That is why a lot of human reared chicks or animals are reared without obvious human contact – people dress up to appear like a panda or a parent bird… to avoid imprinting.

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