‘appless Tree Stands Forlorn


Short of us sitting in the orchard with a shotgun, the pukeko with their white tail feathers flicking in defiance, each morning, unafraid and undeterred by human presence, stride up from the stream, across the paddock and into the orchard. Their  raucous squawks alert us to their brazen thievery.

Pukeko heading to forbidden fruits

As a home gardener, my hopes are being squashed that in March, there may be no fruit left on the apple tree for us to pick and to enjoy.

Fruit Thief with Apple Clamped in Beak
Pukeko, apple clamped in beak, strides back to the stream after a raid on the apple tree

My heritage Captain Kidd apple tree, mulched and fertilised, swelters in the hot January sunshine. These pesky New Zealand native birds have added to this proud tree’s woes. Devoid of its fruits, it stands ‘appless and forlorn. 

Forlorn in the sun ~ Captain Kidd Apple Tree
Once was a prolific and promising crop of apples


2 thoughts on “‘appless Tree Stands Forlorn

  1. I understand fully how you feel as the same thing happened to me, not with Pukekos but Wood Pigeons, they ate the blossom before the fruit even started growing.
    Now living in town the same thing is happening in the garden, no fruit it is the sparrows and blackbirds eating the blossom and fruit in the early stages, and yes still no fruit on the trees. So sad.
    How did the older generation survive they relied on those fruit trees for their survival all winter?
    If we didn’t have the supermarket we would all stave, no fruit in our diet.

    1. Agree with regard to food supplies. Have not experienced the wood pigeons doing their thing. That’s interesting. Our thinking now is what measures we can take ahead of next year. Netting didn’t work. The birds went down and under. Electric fencing round the orchard is a possibility. Could try culling during the shooting season this May. Not a preferred option though. We are guessing the birds are seeking the sugar and moisture of the fruits because of the drier, higher temperatures. We’re working on it. Cheers, Kiwiana.

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