As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Repellent aims to keep sheep off kea's menu

By: Alex Mason, New Zealand News | Sunday May 25 2014 15:13

Sheep are being doused in a kea repellent, to stop the native bird eating them alive.

The Kea Conservation Trust is trialling the repellent for a second time on a high-country farm near Queenstown.

Trust chair Tamsin Orr-Walker says it makes the endangered birds nauseous, and will hopefully stop them from pecking into a sheep's fleece and flesh to get to the animal's high-energy fat.

She says kea strike is a major problem in the high country.

"And it's the reason why there was a bounty on kea for about 100 years, which meant that 150,000 of them were killed during that period of time."

She says the repellent should stop this, and mend the relationship between farmers and the bird.

"It's trying to sort-of also break that cycle of people thinking of kea as a pest by actually taking a proactive stance and doing this research."

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