In December a news report from Auckland claimed the city was experiencing a massive increase in insects, this attributed to the record 2022 rainfall. That may be so but it’s certainly not the case in Wellington.

As elsewhere the capital also notched up a record 2022 rainfall with startling results, evidenced in my residence.

Measured flat I have circa 50 acres of bush and gardens and the upshot has been astonishing growth-wise. My gardeners have felled several 40 year old trees which have experienced crazy growth, they now thinning them out from their neighbours, something we never expected to do. One bunch of hydrangeas have literally doubled their height to 3 metres, and so it goes. Poplars have seemingly doubled in height, so too along the Hutt river.

But just as conspicuous is the absence of insects. Open the windows on a hot day and expect two house-flies at best instead of the normal swarm.

The swimming pool tells the story. Normally it’s a daily duty to rescue bumble-bees, locusts, wasps and small flies which land on the surface throughout the day. This summer it’s only about 3 insects daily.

Our usual rich bird life has all but disappeared despite us feeding them copiously.

Before Christmas I’d count about 40 sparrows hoeing in when we fed them. That all changed in the new year and now only about a dozen turn up. The normally numerous tuis have disappeared, there appears to be only one breeding pair of bush pigeons instead of the usual four or five and so it goes.

We have hundreds of fruit trees and usually the birds get stuck in pecking holes in the fruit but not this year, so it’s not a food issue.

I’ve enquired and others tell me they’ve observed the same abrupt disappearance of bird life on their properties.

There’s one obvious explanation. I blame bloody Jacinda.


More cats stalking the birds?
Rats eating the birds eggs?

    Yes, you might have to call Gareth Morgan to sort out your (stray) cat problem…

    However, I suspect birds know more about the weather than we do…They are smart enough to head for the warmer more settled conditions, when they need to..

    But you’re right, we all suspect Jacinda is heading north (for a UN posting or equivalent), to escape the damage (that she is largely to responsible for)…As they birds of a feather flock together…

Yep, only 1 noisy bird allowed at a time!

Unfortunately, we have experienced the same exponential growth in the polars and the gums but without reason we have had a flowering cherry and walnut just up and die plus a couple of other deciduous trees.

However, as we live next door to a farm we still have the flies and other various insects but the wood pigeons, swallows, tui, sparrows and starlings etc are still creating a cacophony every morning around 5 am and don’t get me started on the magpies and rosellas!

I wonder, have you had previous years when this has happened. The sun has definitely been hotter this year (in the Wairarapa at least) and perhaps the birds are affected by some seasonal movement that has affected the range that they live in. We have Mynah birds 15km north of us, but we don’t get them here. When you get less flies and bugs, is there less for the birds to eat? Just thoughts, but it’s probably Jacinda.

I’ve noticed a large increase in exotic bird life here in Arizona. Clearly they left New Zealand’s shores for better paying jobs smuggling Fentanyl into the USA.
The obvious inference is that Jacinda and Joe are both to be blamed.

Here in Katikati, I’ve planted 5 acres of native and exotic trees both to host and attract the birds and bees but also for our own visual pleasure. The tuis, quail and pheasants are in abundance ,and we get a beautiful song every evening from a skylark . There are Plovers and Blue Herons in my neighbours paddock but far too many Pukekos. Several hawks swoop the valleys for any rabbits silly enough to venture out of their burrows in daylight Our cat has managed to drag a Rosella and a Magpie out of the sky that swooped her, their deaths are no great loss but otherwise she and her brother leave the birdlife alone. We have more bees than ever and fewer German Wasps .The Asian Paper Wasps are a curse and I go on seek and destroy missions with them and their disc homes.. Is the weather hotter or colder, wetter or drier ? Every year seems different and after 61 years , I’m not sure yet .

Perhaps you should blame DoC. Things would change if they disappeared.

Well increased CO2 levels do increase growth rates….

I have noticed the absence of many of the native birds replaced by about the forth batch of sparrow this season. I had noticed it back last year when the Tuis didn’t turn up like they usually do.
I think that it could be related to council requirements and waka the motor boat’s efforts. Both lots want native trees planted and when you look around the subdivision buffer zones and the road buffer zones they have been planted with millions of natives thus creating food for the native birds. No need to come to our gardens after all these years. Ungrateful little critters.

I’m in Fairfield and we now regularly hear a falcon (kārearea) calling as it flies over our house. They’re breeding in the eastern hills and hunting over the whole valley. They’ll be dealing to some of the bird life. We still have plenty of the normal introduced passerine birds, and natives like wax eyes. I wouldn’t expect tui at this time of the year, as the kowai have finished flowering. The kererū should be past breeding session and won’t be so visible as they won’t be swooping. Lately we have had a massive increase in insects at night. I had to venture down to Mitre 10 and buy a plug-in mosquito repealler to stop from getting bitten with the windows open.

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