New Perspectives: A thieving neighbour by Rev. Heather McCarrel

Photo by Kulli Kittus/Unsplash

We have a thief in the neighbourhood.  I know this with certainty because we have caught him, not once but twice, red handed!

The first time was a Wednesday evening soon after supper.  He was so engrossed in his thievery that he didn’t notice as I drew close enough to almost grab him before he darted away.

That evening one of our latest mysteries was solved.  We had been perplexed as to why the hummingbird feeder was empty each morning despite being filled the night prior.  We watched as he greedily lapped up the nectar with much gusto.  We marveled that such a small fella could drink so much.

Only three days later we again caught this culprit as he continued his crime spree in our backyard.  This time it was the oriole feeder that he unabashedly emptied into his tummy.  For those who do not know what an oriole feeder looks like, it is a round plastic feeder with little divots on top for placing jam and its bottom is filled with hummingbird nectar.

This little fellow had climbed the narrow bird feeder pole and by stretching all the way across to the feeder, holding onto the pole by his toes, he expertly spun the feeder each time he emptied a cup of jam.  We were so amazed by his skill we just stood in silence, watching in disbelief as he emptied the entire feeder.

Once done and most certainly on a sugar high he darted with unimaginable speed through our back yard, jumped up on the raised vegetable garden and disappeared under the metal fencing.

Every year our backyard fills with chipmunks, black squirrels and these little energetic red squirrels but never before has there been one so wily and daring.  My concern is that he will be setting a bad example for the rest to follow.

Sadly, due to this one little rascal’s antics the hummingbirds and orioles will not find a warm welcome.  It reminds me of the saying, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.”