Over the last few days I have been listening to a blackbird hidden away out of sight in the garden singing a beautiful quiet song to itself, it was almost inaudible at times and could only be heard when I closely approached the bush that it was hiding in. During the winter the blackbird can be heard, but only if you stop and listen carefully, singing what is called its quiet song or sub-song, completely out of sight, from deep in a hedge or bush. It can be very similar, but obviously very much quieter, than its full loud song that it sings in the spring from the tree tops to impress the ladies. On other occasions it can be just a mixture of different phrases. With all bird behaviour there is almost always some benefit to be gained from it, and as this song can only be heard over a very short distance, not much more than a couple of yards, it unlikely to be useful for any form of communication, so it is most likely that the benefits are personal . It may be just singing quietly to itself, as we sometimes do just for pleasure, as it sounds such a contented gentle song, but this is attributing human feelings to a bird that it probably doesn’t have. The most likely explanation for this quiet song is that it rehearsing its song for the spring and maybe trying out a few new phrases to add to its repertoire.