Polly wants a snapper? Parrot swipes GoPro for sweet views of New Zealand's Fiordland
Video An endangered parrot native to New Zealand's alpine region went full David Attenborough on a family enjoying Fiordland National Park by swooping off with their GoPro camera as they tried to film it.
Having just finished a trek along the park's Kepler Track, the Verheuls from Dunedin were joined at a viewing spot by some kea, ground-nesting parrots who call the mountainous region home.
The camera was set down on the balcony's edge for a close-up, which proved to be a mistake when the inquisitive and intelligent bird grabbed it in its beak and took off – recording a rather marvellous kea's-eye view of the forested hillside as it went.
The trip proved somewhat destructive for the GoPro case, parts of which can be seen hanging from the kea's beak before it decamps to a treetop, but the footage – obviously – survived and the camera was recovered.
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Which is fortunate because the kea does seem to fly a good few hundred metres away and down into a rocky valley. Alex Verheul told morning telly show Seven Sharp:
We just followed the sound down there, we could see them hanging out in a tree – they'd obviously heard us coming and abandoned the GoPro – and my son decided to go check the rocks where it looked like a good place for a bird to land, and there it was still sitting there, still filming.
Kea have a reputation as the "clown of the mountains" and are highly intelligent, often investigating and flying off with anything not nailed down. The Verheuls met more keas later on their trip and on this occasion cups were stolen out of their backpacks as they walked.
Interestingly, scientists have found they have a "play call", which sounds like a mocking laugh and signals little more than "time to muck around" – as can be seen below. ®