My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ Pukeko’s chicks have hatched


This evening we watched several Pukeko grazing on carrot weed roots in our paddocks, using use their strong red beaks to gouge the roots from the soil. We’ve taken special interest in one little family. Himself put up an electric fence around the nesting area to stop our inquisitive cattle from nosing amongst the grass that hides the nest.

I dared to snap a couple of photos of the nest before the mother bird hurried back. I counted four chicks and two unhatched eggs. There were originally eleven eggs. I guess a rat or stoat must have taken some eggs. I beat a retreat so she could tend to feeding her chicks.

Day-old chicks inside the nest Two unhatched eggs White tail flicks as Pukeko Mum calls to her chicks Nestling in the long grass Toddling after Mum

This season, these birds have decimated the sweet corn crop in my vegetable garden. They efficiently stripped the husks and pecked the kernels from the cobs. Pukeko can be regarded with either irritation or amusement – depends on the situation. We have have observed Pukeko raid the nests of other birds. We’ve also watched noisy ground-aerial battles between Pukeko and the hawks that circle before attempting to swoop on the fledgling chicks. Screeching aggressive stubborn birds.  But, on the other hand, Pukeko are often fondly viewed as character birds and feature in New Zealand stories or songs, design media and more recently, in advertisements.   Enjoy these Youtube snippets filmed by other people showing Pukeko in different situations.

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

5 thoughts on “My Garden ~ Pukeko’s chicks have hatched

  1. Wow – they’re rather fantastic looking birds. They kind of look a bit like pheasants. I have to say, I quite like the power ad. 🙂

  2. Hello Jenny, I came across your blog last night while researching “raised gardens” I am excited to finally come across a Kiwi blogger with similar interests as mine, not one of the “youngsters” who prattle on about boys etc.
    It is 7:76am here in USA (I have been here 27 years) and after I have my coffee and get my day started, I intend on reading more of your blog.
    Just love the Pukeko and was delighted to see it on many Tourist souvenir items when I was there in November.

  3. Hey Pat and Nezza – glad you enjoyed the pukeko. So nice to meet a kiwi blogger, Jennifer. Stay in touch. Cheers, Jenny.

  4. Pukekos are indeed one of the most amusing birds around us. Nice to read about them from a gardener’s perspective 🙂

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