Caught in the Act

After my first sunflower got beheaded, I moved my remaining sunflower away from the steps and kept a close eye on it. After a week or so, I thought maybe it was safe, that the squirrels couldn’t get it without the stairs nearby. Then, one afternoon last week, I went out to check on my last sunflower and was horrified to find a naked stem where the biggest bloom used to be.


I went partway down the stairs to see if any of the smaller blooms were left and saw this little bandit hiding under the leaves of the hydrangea.

Note the telltale sunflower petal laying on the ground!

I grabbed my camera and snapped some photos while the thieving little tree rat continued chomping down my sunflower, somehow completely unaware that I was watching from just a few feet away. I caught the exact moment when he finally realized that I saw him. (Unfortunately, that priceless moment turned out a bit blurry.)

“Ruh, Roh!”

The little thief then tried to walk away all nonchalant like. If squirrels had a whistle in their arsenal of strange sounds, he would have been whistling as he walked away!

Just innocently passing through….

But that white tip at the end of his tail gave him away. It was Tipsy, the little squirrel with the twisted neck that I fed and worried about all last winter. And, it was that same white-tipped tail that I saw disappearing into the garden after I discovered my other sunflower had been devoured.


Tipsy is a sunflower thief! And, he’s built a nest in the tree next to my deck so he’s can see everything that goes on in my backyard. When I put out food, he’s the first to appear. I don’t think I need to worry about Tipsy anymore! He’s a crafty one and he seems mostly healed from his neck ailment and is able to climb and stand on his hind legs now, although he still runs with his head slightly tipped, which is how I know it’s the same squirrel, even though he’s thinned out and looks nothing like the little chubber he was last winter.


Ah, how I miss those fluffy winter coats! It will be interesting to see if Tipsy gets chubby again this winter, or if, as I’ve long suspected, the really chubby squirrels are the ones with disabilities of some kind.


20 thoughts on “Caught in the Act

    1. They bury a lot of the peanuts under the moss in my back yard but other squirrels come along and dig them back up. I often wonder if they’ve got stashes in the trees too.

      1. Maybe. Hard to stash in a tree though. I use to feed them years ago and marvel at their bulging cheeks before they ran away to store the stash and come back a few minutes later. Then I got a racoon family trying to nest in my carport rafters and that was the end of free food.

  1. He tried to play on your pity for his prior condition!

    I love that pic with him in the act “Oh, hai….nothing to see here…ignore the squirrel near the sunflower, please!” 😀

    1. Yes, some thanks we get for taking them in! I’ve got a cat like that too. We kept him because he was a sickly kitten and, 18 years later, he’s still ruining our stuff!

  2. How cute is that….
    The third image is so funny. At least you know the little critters aren’t starving. I daresay all the squirrels get chubbier when they feed up before the winter?

    1. No, I definitely don’t have to worry about the little critters starving. They let me know when they need their food supply increased! They all do get chubbier for the winter, which just makes them cuter. And I already can’t say no to them!

  3. There’s a squirrel in my daughter’s yard that falls over. We all feel badly for him. If Tipsy eats all those sunflower seeds, he’ll need a bigger winter coat! LOL

    1. I’ve seen a few squirrels that tip over like that. I “googled” it and found it that it may be some kind of worm from raccoon feces that gets into their brain and eventually kills them. It’s really sad but I don’t think there’s anything that can be done to save them. 😦

    1. You catch squirrels in action so a little blurry is to be expected! The only thing moving when I took that photo was my hands. They get shaky when I know I’ve only got a split second to get a shot. I end up messing up all the best shots!

  4. I’ve got dozens of squirrels around you (I think I have told you) because of my two walnut trees. I like to watch them from my front porch but only as they are passing by when I am reading. I actually enjoy your squirrel stories more. I’ll be waiting to see if Tipsy plumps up.

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