Blog Post for

How To Spy On Birds
Sharing the pleasures of birding.
Written by Bluebird Annie

So, this squirrel hops into a bar …


“Good morning!  What brings you in at this early hour?” says the bartender who is mopping the floor of his empty sports bar and doing his daily cleaning before the wait staff and early lunch crowd begin to arrive in a few more hours. 


“Quick!  Give me a couple of cold Coronas!” gasps the squirrel, with tears flowing from his eyes as he leaps up on a bar stool. 


The bartender pours a cold beer with a big foamy head on top and places it in front of the crying squirrel.  Being a professional bartender, he recognizes that a crying squirrel may need a little personal attention.  He puts his oversized hands on the bar, leans toward the squirrel and in his most sympathetic manner asks, “So, why the crocodile tears, little buddy?  Lady friend kick you out of the nest last night?” 


“No.  No.  Nothing like that at all,” sniffs the squirrel, unable to hold back tears and with nose running.  “Do you have any paper napkins I can use to dry my tears?” he asks pitifully.

“Oh, yeah, sure.  They’re right here,” says the bartender as he slides the paper napkin dispenser across the bar and in front of the squirrel.

“Thanks,” says the sniffing squirrel.  He dabs his eyes before drinking down the last of his cold beer.  Putting the glass on the counter, he asks the bartender, “How badly is it swollen?” He leans forward and sticks out his tongue.

“Swollen?", asks the bartender.  "It’s kind of dark in here.  Come over by the window and let’s have a look.”  The squirrel jumps down from his bar stool, hops across the floor, then jumps up on a table in a booth near the window.  He turns toward the bartender and sticks his tongue out as far as he can.

“Hum-m-m-m-m.” says the bartender.  “I can get a good look at it in the light now, but I don’t see anything unusual.  Did you scald yourself on coffee that was too hot when you got it at the drive through?  You could sue them for your injury, you know.”

“No.  No.  Nothing like that at all,” said the squirrel, tears beginning to subside he could still feel his tongue throbbing and stinging.  “Let’s go back to the bar.  Pour me another cold Corona.”

Back at the bar, cold beer served, “Well, little buddy.  If it’s not your lady friend and it’s not scalding hot coffee, what happened?”  The bartender, generally able to quickly uncover the source of sobbing customers’ woes, was feeling at a loss thinking perhaps he just didn’t understand squirrels.


“It’s the woman who lives up the street and has that enticing bird feeder station!” exclaimed the squirrel, eyes still tearing some.  “She must have poisoned some of the food.  I know she doesn’t like when I eat what she puts out for the birds.  Or, maybe the food just spoiled being out in the hot summer sun.  Anyway, I was able to climb up onto the feeding station and shimmy down onto the suet feeder then hang upside down comfortably grasping the top of the feeder with by rear feet. I thought I was in squirrel heaven.  I should have known something wasn’t right.  The suet wasn’t fragrant like the kind with nuts or fruits in it.  But it looked so good and I was so hungry.  After I took several big bites of the suet the woodpeckers, chickadees, catbirds, nuthatches and others seem to relish, my tongue suddenly began to feel like it was on fire!  I was caught off guard!  I went wild!  I almost couldn’t hang on to the feeder or the feeding station post!  In fact, I fell off and made a soft landing on some bushes beneath, thank goodness for that.  My tongue was burning and my eyes tearing so badly, the only thing I could think of to control the fire in my mouth was an ice-cold beer.  Kind of like when you go to a Mexican restaurant and the food has too much jalapeño – only much worse.” 


“Ah!” exclaimed the bartender, knowingly, his eyes opening wide.  “Hot pepper suet!  I’ve never known a squirrel that actually ate the stuff.  I thought you guys could smell the peppers and just stay away!  The birds don’t have a good sense of taste so they just munch all they like!”

“Ah!” exclaimed the squirrel!  “So, you think I’ll be okay and I’m not permanently damaged?”

“No.  No.  Nothing like that at all,” said the bartender.  “Not permanently damaged, just wiser in the game of ‘whose bird food is it anyway’ little buddy.” 


Notes from Annie:

I need to spend more time in front of my feeder station window with a good camera. The look on the squirrel’s face once he realized the hot pepper bird suet was not peanut butter was worth the price of admission!  In years of putting out hot pepper suet, I have never seen a squirrel partake until this morning.  Do you think he will tell his friends?  Or, do you think he will play a practical joke on them encouraging them to take a bite of hot pepper bird suet? 

Seed and suet sale starts now and goes through the end of July at my bird supply store.  I hope they have enough of the no-melt hot pepper suet …. it’s a pretty “hot” mover! 

And, can’t you just see this scenario played out in a Super Bowl beer commercial?

Don’t get any ideas, Anheuser-Busch!

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