A moment of sunlight illuminates the yard. Water seeps from the mountain’s every pore. The starling is doing its best to talk like a duck.

Rattle and rasp from a hole in the eaves where the starlings are moving in. A pair of ravens low over the ridge. The sun’s blazing nest.

First rainy morning in weeks, but how quickly things turn to rust: rasp of a starling, a red-winged blackbird’s call, a scolding squirrel.

Cardinal song followed by gargling laughter: a starling sits at the top of a locust, its bill a gleaming needle in the deep blue sky.

A male starling—a rarity here—lands among the cherry blossoms, iridescent black feathers speckled with white. He gargles musically.