Bird Man

The Bird Man is on the move. He’s wearing a sweat jacket and a ball cap because it’s cold. It’s 38 degrees this morning, and typically, such as during summer, the Bird Man will wear only an old white T-shirt that you and I might demote to rag status, as well as jeans that no longer can stay put around his pot belly.

Today the Bird Man looks more dressed up than usual due to his navy blue jacket. It seems to be in fine condition and looks warm.

The Bird Man is removing the rocks from the small plastic Tupperware lining his cement wall like battlements. He is emptying the backwash and refilling the vessels with a cheap plastic pitcher of water.

The pigeons flutter about. They congregate on his one-story roof, knowing they are taken care of. This is their home — or at least their daytime hangout.

In the back of their pigeon minds, the pigeons know that the Bird Man’s wife will occasionally offer a treat. She will scatter bits of leftover bread around the yard, and the pigeons will have a party. Within about 30 minutes, they’ll multiply, and you could hear them contentedly cooing.

While they are vying for their snacks, unwelcome grackles will move in, too, muscling about to hoard what they could, carrying large-ish chunks in their bills and toting them into the thickest part of a nearby cypress.

Neither the Bird Man nor his wife intervene. At this point, they just let nature take over.

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