An alpine parrot, how cool is that? Very cool. Bivy in the high backcountry of New Zealand and you won’t worry about pika or marmots. The critters you defend against down don’t come with paws, instead they’re equipped with wings. Part curious, part conditioned by human handouts, kea are cunning backcountry adversaries. So much so people really do call them cheeky kea. They will ‘attack’ you and your pack in search of food. Their size makes them quite intimidating and plays to some sort of Hitchcockian fear. They will pick apart your car at trailheads, frequently nibbling at the rubber seal around your windscreen. Mostly they will captivate you with their onomatopoeic call, rich green plume and overall cheekiness. Just hope they don’t catch your pack unattended.
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