The Bachelorette: Expedition Kea Style

The next season of ABC’s The Bachelorette may not start until May 28th, but on May 12th, Tracy Aviary’s very own Bachelorette, Scarlet the kea, will start her journey to find love.

A little backstory...

Kea are the world’s only alpine parrot, native to New Zealand,  and are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, with decreasing populations, caused by human conflict. Kea are naturally curious and very intelligent animals, which often causes conflict with humans when the birds are found tearing apart windshield wipers, un-zipping back-packs, and occasionally snacking on the fat of sheep. Kea are omnivorous and were persecuted for years because it was believed they actually hunted sheep. Research has found that the species adapted well to changing environments and they will often see sheep as an opportunity for needed nutrition, much to the displeasure of the sheep and their caretakers. As the Kea Conservation Trust puts it, “Kea are unusual in that they actively seek out and interact with people and their property. This ‘neophilia’ – love of new things, has brought people into conflict with kea to an extent which is unprecedented with another endemic avian species.”

Scarlet is a one-year-old female kea from the Denver Zoo, who has just arrived at Tracy Aviary’s brand new Expedition Kea exhibit.

Scarlet the Kea

Tracy Aviary is starting an exciting and innovative breeding program, where young kea will find their soulmates, then move to another facility where they can raise little troublemakers of their own! This matchmaking facility works in partnership with The Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan to help ensure the species is around to be enjoyed by future generations.

This will be the most dramatic season of The Bachelorette you’ve ever seen. Scarlett, a rowdy young kea who loves the spotlight, will have to choose between Gonzo, the kea from Cincinnati who loves playing in water, and Tracy Aviary’s hometown boys, Takaro and Roy. This will be the first time in Bachelor history that two brothers fight for the love of the bachelorette, and they couldn't be more different. Takaro loves making music and relaxing in a bath, and Roy is very independent and loves looking at himself in mirrors.

Visit Tracy Aviary on May 12th and 13th for Urban Bird Festival and watch LIVE as Scarlet mingles with her three suitors in Expedition Kea.

....Who do you think she’ll give the first impression rose to?

 Expedition Kea Sign

Make sure to share your photos with us when you visit using #tracyaviary and #expeditionkea on social media!