There’s a bird nest on a light box outside my office window. Robins. Like all good parents, they have been dutifully preparing their nest, awaiting the day it will be filled by those huge mouths, mouths with some fuzz attached. That day arrived sometime last week, and now all the parents do is fly back and forth, back and forth, feeding those mouths. I imagine it is exhausting work. All day long they go hunting for bugs and worms. At the end of the long gathering day, Mother and Father must not have much to say to each other. -How was your day? -Oh, just fine. Found a nice stash of worms. -Well, isn’t that nice. we’ll do it all again tomorrow. G’night.
I sit here watching them, proudly defending their nest and territory against all evil-doers. One or the other is always in close proximity with the nest. A wayfaring squirrel, rooting around in the grass for hidden treasures, was unexpectedly laid upon by Father Robin, brutally attacked again and again. The poor nut-cruncher ran off a ways, stopped, and looked around in what I guess was utter confusion. This was just too much for Robin, dive-bombing that Squirrel until he finally bounded off in search of less well-defended hunting grounds.
I wonder if those robins enjoy their duty, or if they simply do it because nature compels their bodies to do its bidding, giving them no choice but to devote their day to hunting and feeding and defending.