Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper’s day began with a 5 a.m. wake-up call from a robin, got a snooze signal from a crow 15 minutes later, and shortly thereafter got a get-the-hell-out-of-bed scolding from a persistent cardinal. While the keeper finds it more reassuring to document birds’ activities over human shenanigans, there are instances when the birds also demonstrate a definite lack of judgement. Under the heading of we-all-make-mistakes, there was the starling that proclaimed territorial rights to the downspout immediately in front of the keeper’s outside view. For days, the male starling—it had to be the male, did its wing-flapping version of courting, and deposited various nest-building material down the downspout.
Then the rain came, pouring water through the downspout; and the home-building starling, having foolishly tried to build on the ultimate floodplain, disappeared with the finality of an evicted squatter.
The keeper tries to resist anthropomorphic temptations but cannot avoid seeing himself and many others as they flap their demonstrating wings and bring building material to a downspout government as dark clouds persist, and rain is forecast.