Get a load of this asshole. Bry Wark / Getty Images
Hey, hi, it’s me, your birdfeeder. You’ll be glad to hear that I’ve teamed up with this summer’s wildfires to murder a bunch of local songbirds. Fun!
It’s super cool that you hung me up outside your window, or maybe your neighbor has me dangling from a tree. Don’t mind me, nothing suspicious at all going on, just minding my own business: Dispensing sunflower seeds and thistle to local finches and chickadees; attracting little flying creatures to the neighborhood; and eventually causing them to drop dead.
There’s a bird plague going on right now, you see, in addition to the other problems you have to deal with. Seattle’s bird population has exploded this winter thanks in part to my very good friend, The 2020 Western Wildfire Season; and while local birders thought that the increased songbird activity might be the one thing they could all enjoy this winter, it turns out that it has instead caused a terrible disease to spread.
And you humans are helping it! Thank you! I hate birds so much!
Here’s what happened: This summer, a whole lot of Canada’s forests burned down (helped in part by climate change, so thank you for that, humanity), wiping out food sources for many species of birds—particularly the kind that grab onto branches with their disgusting little spindly feet and scream their stupid songs. That’s led to what’s called an “irruption,” when bird populations suddenly and dramatically increase. If your one weird friend with too many binoculars won’t shut up about pine siskins lately, now you know why.
Sometimes an irruption is a nice opportunity to see more of your favorite kind of bird. (I do not have a favorite bird, because I am a heartless demon who hates all winged creatures except mosquitos.) But this year, it is instead an opportunity to watch sparrows collapse to the ground and die.
That’s because a particular strain of salmonella has spread amongst birds, causing a disease called salmonellosis that basically makes them puff up their feathers, get real lethargic, and then keel over. As a nice bonus, there’s a slim chance that the birds might also pass along the illness to humans if the bird or its waste is handled.
It’s virtually impossible to cure the infected wild birds, so the best hope now is to reduce the amount that they’re grouping together—you know, like they do around bird feeders.
In other words, the state recommends that humans help the birds practice social distancing.
They suggest taking in all feeders and birdbaths or cleaning them by rinsing them every day (ugh yes, EVERY DAY) in soap and bleach. The state wants you to do this through February at least, and possibly longer. If you see dead birds, scientists ask that you report them so the disease can be tracked.
But of course, I, an evil murderous bird feeder, do not want you to do that. I want you to keep feeding wild animals so that I can continue to kill them all, one by one, until they’re all gone and I no longer have to feel their terrible filthy claws curling around my platforms, or hear their shrill squeaking cries, or stare into their hot damp greedy mouths. Have you ever seen a bird’s tongue? You’ll never be the same. I’m begging you, do not do an image search for “bird glottis.”
So please, leave your bird feeders out. Don’t forget to drive your car every day to contribute to climate change. Together, we can eliminate those horrible little creatures, and then we can start figuring out what to do about my other arch-nemesis, squirrels.