The day is cold and windy. Bits of snow and ice still remain on the ground in places. Outside CVS in Downtown Crossing, Boston, MA the pigeons huddle together. They are lined up against the wall under the awning. They tuck their heads under their wings and their feet under their bellies to stay warm. Though it is windy, their feathers do not ruffle. Occasionally one shifts so that a part of their body that was not touching the body of another bird now is. When one shifts they all shift. They stand near where the sun is hitting the pavement. Bird poo covers the ground along the entire wall under the awning. As the sun moves, they must move along the wall with it. There are a few trees in front of CVS, but no birds in them. It seems the pigeons would feel safer up high in a tree, but they are city pigeons and used to people and cars and other potential dangers all around them.
An old Chinese woman exits the store, reaches into her pocket, and scatters birdseed along the wall. The pigeons do not move. She probably does this for them every day and they have come to expect it, come to know that as they move along the wall with the sun there will be food.
They huddle and shift, huddle and shift keeping each other alive.