We have a pair of blackbirds nesting in our courtyard. We are trying to be very quiet, as the last pair a couple of years ago deserted, because, I suppose, we were making too much noise. I've been watching them flying to and fro,with beakfuls of insects, and it set me thinking. Do they plan, or is it all instinct? Do two blackbirds get together and decide to build a nest, or do they decide to put a twig in a hedge, then another, then another etc until lo! a nest is formed?
And the eggs. Do they know there's a baby in each egg, or does that, too, happen in instinctive stage by instinctive stage? Are they surprised when each egg hatches? Pleased? Proud? And do they feed these babies instinctively, or do they have feelings for them?
I'm not looking for answers here, because I feel we humans have to have an answer for everything (eg 'a bird sings because its marking its territory.' Why can't a bird be singing just because it's a lovely day and it feels like it?), and I'm sure we're often wrong.
But I'm glad we have the blackbirds sharing our tiny courtyard. It feels like a privilege. And I shall go on watching them and keeping very, very quiet.....