Dear Me,

What, you think your bird feeders clean themselves? That rainstorms are Mother Nature’s dishwasher, making everything just ducky at the thistle feeder? That you can simply hose down your bird-feeding stations once or twice a year with whatever water’s left over in the spray nozzle and call it a day?

Well, allow me to piss in your Cheerios, princess. See, our feathered friends shit where they eat, which means your improperly maintained platform feeder is now a petri dish of disease and death. That wasn’t a purple finch you spotted at your feeder, toots. It was a common house sparrow with pink eye. And every time Pinky rubbed its little crusty, diseased head against anything it touched? That’s right, genius. Say hello to Conjunctivitis Carnivale for the aviary known as your backyard.

Pestilence starts with ignoramuses like you who don’t have the first clue about proper bird-feeder-cleaning protocol.

And no. Washing everything thoroughly with soap and water isn’t enough, you dumb twat. Didn’t the pandemic teach you anything about the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? Bird feeders require sanitizing. You need to get these fuckers so clean that you could perform an emergency tracheotomy with a tube feeder by the light of your fire pit.

To prepare for this, you must don elbow-long protective gloves, discard all feeder debris in the trash (do NOT let the neighbor’s dog eat it!), disassemble each feeder, scrub every nook and cranny, and soak each piece in a solution of water, bleach, and the tears you still shed over the poor choices you’ve made in life. Then, let everything air dry in the sun for three days, preferably in a meadow where unicorns frolic and angels sing.

Do this at least every other week.

That’s right, bitch.

Every. Single. Feeder.

Every. Other. Week.

And do it even more if it’s been especially wet, humid, or Mercury’s in retrograde.

Oh, and that’s not all, babe. You must rake up all cracked corn hulls and black oil sunflower seed shells underneath the feeders lest you sicken other wildlife with wet and moldy food scraps.

And under no circumstances should you question how birds survive foraging for food when no one’s around to clean up after them. Doesn’t it rain in the forest? Don’t the leaves get wet? The berries? Don’t the birdies still gorge and poop in the same spots? WHY ISN’T THERE A PINK EYE PANDEMIC AMONG CARDINALS AND AMERICAN BUSHTITS EVERYWHERE?

This line of inquiry won’t serve you. Instead, focus on the work at hand. Cleaning and sanitizing should take you anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour per feeder once you develop a rhythm, which depends on how often your man-friend moves around any of your bird-cleaning supplies without telling you, leaving you to wonder if you’ve been using the same bottle brush to clean your Yeti as you use to clean the holes in the possibly plague-riddled feeder.

And yeah, that bird-feeder-buying frenzy you went on after moving into your first house where you placed fifteen feeders around your yard because birds are fun! And birds lower blood pressure!? Ha-ha-ha. Joke’s on you, sweetie. Because now you must decline every weekend invitation to anything remotely interesting and instead devote your sad little life to bird-feeder-cleaning duty until you die.

Welcome to birding, sister!


PS. The above is just about seed feeders. Hummingbird feeders require cleaning at least every three to five days. Otherwise, you might kill them. Have fun, hun!