This week in class, after nine days of assorted Advanced Placement exams, my classes and I watched the excellent documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2005). In the closing minutes of the film, following his relocation away from the San Francisco community wherein the Cherry-headed conure parrots flock, Mark Bittner begins reflecting on the common, native birds he had never taken the time to notice, despite spending so much time tracking, watching and befriending the much more superficially exotic conures.
In our school courtyard, not many "fancy," exotic birds pass through--occasionally, the splashes of color and noise that accompany Blue Jays and Cardinals will make brief appearances, but generally there is less colorful fair to be observed. As Mark learned only after the loss of his exotic avian friends, that does not suggest that the birds that do frequent the courtyard lack character.
After a good hard rain this morning, the European Starlings (along with a few grackles) were out in full force, pecking and probing the wet grass for food. One of them even stopped for a few moments to splash around in one of the puddles that had quickly formed during the rain. It's easy (and fun!) to anthropomorphize the actions of these goofy little birds, especially when they respond to environmental conditions ,such as lonely puddles of water just needing someone to splash in them!) just as we humans might under similar circumstances..