Luscinia megarhynchos C. L. Brehm, 1831. OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Common nightingale; French: Rossignol philomele; German: Nachtigall; Spanish: Ruiseñor Común.
6.5 in (16.5 cm); male 0.6-0.8 oz (17-23 g); female 0.6-0.85 oz (17-24 g). Brown upperparts, gray-buff underparts (throat paler), rusty-red rump and tail.
Breeds southeast England eastwards through central and southern Europe, into central Asia; locally North Africa. Winters in Africa south of Sahara.
Low, dense thickets, woodland, bushes beside heaths. In winter, bushy, dry savanna.
Skulking, feeds on or near ground, sings from hidden perch, sometimes more open on bush or tree; territorial, solitary.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Eats beetles, ants, other invertebrates, some berries in summer; insectivorous in winter.
Monogamous; nest on or near ground. Lays four to five eggs April-June, incubation 13 days, fledging 11 days; one or two broods.
Not threatened, though declining in north and west of range, secure in south and east.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Exceptional song greatly revered but actually less well known than may be suspected; frequent allusions in literature, poetry and music. ♦
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