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.
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.
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.