Everyone Was Kung Fu Birding

I was just sent this news item from Brian the bartender at the Governor's Club at the Madison Concourse Hotel ( a great place to stay in Madison):

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Organizers of a vintage car rally have hired karate experts to protect vehicles from marauding native parrots, a media report said Friday.

Around 40 members of a local karate club have been enlisted to protect around 140 classic cars due to visit an alpine village near Mt. Cook on New Zealand's South Island on Sunday, the New Zealand Press Association reported.

The karate experts will protect the cars from Keas, sharp-beaked native parrots which have been known to damage vehicles in their search for shiny items, NZPA said.

Denis Callesen, manager of the nearby Hermitage Hotel, said bird lovers needn't be concerned that the karate experts would use martial arts moves on the parrots, which are a protected species. Their job would simply be to scare the birds away, he said.

Local wildlife ranger Ray Bellringer said the karate masters were unlikely to deter the Keas.

"They will fly around and laugh," he said.

The best method to prevent Keas from damaging vehicles was to squirt them with water pistols, he added.

A quick note: I don't think the karate experts will be dressed as The Eighteen Brassmen of Shaolin Monastery pictured in the photo about, but boy wouldn't life be fun if they were.