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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six: Case File No. 07-267


AMBER LOVE 27-JUN-2022 This work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast.

Where We Left Off:

Gus and the human biographer, Amber, we scared out of the woods by gunshots. Everyone returned home safely.

The Big Combo:

By the end of April, our local critters were back and appeared happy and healthy. The blue jays were noticeably more aggressive than any previous year though. After their population had to survive its own epidemic in the summer of 2021, I can completely understand their short tempers and anxiety. I’m still here though millions of people died around the world from COVID-19. The blue jays and smaller birds are here too and they lost mates and friends in that mysterious eastern bird illness. That was a tough time for bird lovers because we weren’t allowed to feed them. The illness was treated through social distancing which plenty of humans don’t believe works, but it clearly does and it even worked on the birds. By not offering the birds feeders, they weren’t gathering in large groups. The other action taken was by the animal control officers and scientists who fielded calls about dead birds. They would show up to collect the bodies so other animals weren’t exposed.

Now here we are in 2022 and things look great for the small critters in New Jersey. Gus and Oliver said it was time to reach out and have a meeting with the chipmunks of the chipmunk mafia and local community.

Gus watching chipmunk

The Chipmunk Squeakuel:

The X-Munks who are frequent the junkyard and boulder are still around. Wanda and Pietro are fierce. So is Munka Kelly. Gus tangled quite a lot with Pietro which was described in a previous case file.

Cheeks Moretti retired last year and we haven’t seen much of him since. Chipcent Donofrio has appeared for peanuts and reported that things in the “organization” are running more smoothly than when Cheeks was in charge.

Closer to the house, Lil Chip Amunko is possibly around — Gus has conducted surveillance at the bunker, square garden patch and woodpile where Lil Chip used to live.

chipmunks on rock wall

At the Moretti Mansion, Benny Squint has made a new best friend or perhaps it’s a relative. I’m not sure yet. All I know is that the rock wall is now the frequent playground of two chipmunks of smaller stature.

In Gnome Grove, Pipi Lansbury has been keeping Gnomez Addams apprised of chipmunk activity along her border. I haven’t gotten any reports on the status of Tami Sneakers, Pipi’s mother. Tami may have run off to join her mate Joey Bag O’Peanuts in witness protection. That’s Pipi’s dad. He was quite a character and I miss meeting up with him at the garden wall.

chipmunk Pipi Lansbury

I think Pipi was taken by surprise when I moved all the fairies into Gnome Grove. The fairy tree stump is becoming an eyesore so I moved the fae folk into the grove and tried to spruce it up a bit with some new chairs and a lot of raking.

The War of the Yard:

The chipmunks as a whole have been forced to be more assertive in getting to the peanuts because of the sudden mood change in the Blue Jay Gang. These jays are going nuts. It’s like they’ve ingested bath salts or meth or whatever drives humans to display ultra aggressive behavior. The birds are stealing peanuts right from the chipmunks! It should be who gets there first. A chipmunk could be an arm’s length away from a peanut and a blue jay will swoosh down and snatch it.

The Blue Jay Gang is also having an unbelievable amount of internal fights. I know they have an aggressive reputation, but these are in-air brawls you might expect from a raptor. I only took video of one of these tumbling brawls, but I’ve watched many of them.

Robins Are Tough:

I have to wonder if the blue jays are fighting with each other because they’re under constant attack from the robins. Oh, I thought robins were sweet and cute and a poor choice in moniker for Batman’s sidekick; but my, oh my, they are kicking so much blue jay ass this year!


The robins have a nest in the hedges but they attack the blue jays when they aren’t even near the nest. I’ll be feeding the blue jays having all their focus on my and the peanut can. Then BAM! A robin swoops in at Mach 1 and beats the crap out of as many blue jays as it can reach in few seconds before switching to stalking. A jay will look for sanctuary on a branch and HA-HA, the robin follows. The jay will pop up to another branch and the robin will follow it there and take that perch. Then the robin notices a different opponent and changes targets. It’s all over in a couple of minutes and the robin returns to the hedge.

I finally started to hear the baby robins squeak and chirp around June 4th. I risked being attacked and having my arm pecked to raw ground meat in order to take photos of the new babies. The mom was pretty cool though. She popped up to a higher branch in the dense innerscape of the burning bushes. She made quiet sounds which let me know she was close, but she never made screeching, angry noises nor attacked me.

The robins are great parents. They take care of each other and the babies. Once the babies are gone and there’s no one left using the nest, I’ll check back to see if there are any more eggshells to collect. They may end up inside resin as a power object.

Case Findings:

Late spring was the right time to assess the wellness of the smaller critters of the estate. Gus and Oliver had plenty of time for observations. There are changes in the chipmunk community as older chipmunks have retired and presumably moved to Florida as is required by law. The birds have their own wars going on which we will continue to monitor.

Case Status: Closed

chipmunk with peanuts on rocks

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