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Nightingale
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Luscinia
Species: L. megarhynchos
Binomial name
Luscinia megarhynchos
(Brehm, 1831)

The Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos), also known as Rufous and Common Nightingale, is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae. It belongs to a group of more terrestrial species, often called chats.

It is a migratory insectivorous species breeding in forest and scrub in Europe and south-west Asia, but is not found naturally in the Americas. The distribution is more southerly than the very closely related Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia. It nests on the ground within or next to dense bushes. It winters in southern Africa. At least in the Rhineland (Germany), the breeding habitat of nightingales agrees with a number of geographical parameters.[2]

The Nightingale is slightly larger than the European Robin, at 15–16.5 cm (5.9–6.5 in) length. It is plain brown above except for the reddish tail. It is buff to white below. Sexes are similar.

Nightingales are named so because they frequently sing at night as well as during the day. The name has been used for well over 1,000 years, being highly recognizable even in its Anglo-Saxon form - 'nihtingale'. It means 'night songstress'. Early writers assumed the female sang when it is in fact the male. The song is loud, with an impressive range of whistles, trills and gurgles. Its song is particularly noticeable at night because few other birds are singing. This is why its name includes "night" in several languages. Only unpaired males sing regularly at night, and nocturnal song is likely to serve attracting a mate. Singing at dawn, during the hour before sunrise, is assumed to be important in defending the bird's territory. Nightingales sing even more loudly in urban or near-urban environments, in order to overcome the background noise. The most characteristic feature of the song is a loud whistling crescendo, absent from the song of Thrush Nightingale. It has a frog-like alarm call.

The eastern subspecies L. m. hafizi and L. m. africana have paler upperparts and a stronger face-pattern, including a pale supercilium.

Culture

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2004). Luscinia megarhynchos. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ (German) Wink, Michael (1973): " Die Verbreitung der Nachtigall (Luscinia megarhynchos) im Rheinland". Charadrius 9(2/3): 65-80. (PDF)
  3. ^ Stedman, Edmund C. (1884), "Keats", The Century XXVII: 600, http://books.google.com/books?id=XLWqByOcRjwC&pg=PA600 
  4. ^ Swinburne, Algernon Charles (1886), "Keats", Miscellanies, New York: Worthington Company, pp. 221, http://books.google.com/books?id=UHsRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA211, retrieved 2008-10-08 . Reprinted from the Encyclopædia Britannica.
  5. ^ "The Rose and nightingale in Persian literature". http://web.archive.org/web/20080122005248/http://www.iranica.com/articles/v11f1/v11f1034.html. 
  6. ^ Croatian National Bank. Kuna and Lipa, Coins of Croatia: 1 Kuna Coin. – Retrieved on 31 March 2009.

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The Nightingale
disambiguation
This is a disambiguation page, which lists works which share the same title. If an article link referred you here, please consider editing it to point directly to the intended page.


The Nightingale may refer to:


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NIGHTINGALE (0. Eng. Nihtegale, literally " singer of the night "), the bird celebrated beyond all others by European writers for the admirable vocal powers which, during some weeks after its return from its winter-quarters in the south, it exercises at all hours of the day and night. The song itself is indescribable, though several attempts, from the time of Aristophanes to the present, have been made to express in syllables the sound of its many notes. Poets have descanted on the bird (which they nearly always make of the feminine gender) leaning its breast .against a thorn and pouring forth its melody in anguish. But the cock alone sings, and there is no reason to suppose that the cause and intent of his song differ in any respect from those of other birds' songs (see Song). In great contrast to the nightingale's pre-eminent voice is the inconspicuous coloration of its plumage, which is alike in both sexes, and is of a reddish-brown above and dull greyish-white beneath, the breast being rather darker, and the rufous tail showing the only bright tint.

The range of the European nightingale, Daulias luscinia, is peculiar. In Great Britain it is abundant in suitable localities to the south-east of a line stretching from the valley of the Exe, in Devonshire, to York, but it does not visit Ireland, its occurrence in Wales is doubtful or intermittent, and it is extremely improbable that it has ever reached Scotland. On the continent of Europe it does not occur north of a line stretching irregularly from Copenhagen to the northern Urals, and it is absent in Brittany; over south Europe otherwise it is abundant. It reaches Persia, and is a winter visitor to Arabia, Nubia, Abyssinia, Algeria and as far south as the Gold Coast. The larger eastern D. Philomela, sometimes called the thrush-nightingale or Sprosser of German bird-catchers, is russet-brown in both sexes, and is a native of eastern Europe. D. hafizi of Persia, a true nightingale, is probably the Perso-Arabic bulbul of poets.

The nightingale reaches its English home about the middle of April,' the males (as is usual among migratory birds) arriving some days before the females. On the cocks being joined by their partners, the work for which the long and hazardous journey of both has been undertaken is speedily begun, and before long the nest is completed. This is of a rather uncommon kind, being placed on or near the ground, the outworks consisting chiefly of a great number of dead leaves ingeniously applied together so that the plane of each is mostly vertical. In the midst of the mass is wrought a deep cup-like hollow, neatly lined with fibrous roots, but the whole is so loosely constructed, and depends for lateral support so much on the stems of the plants, among which it is generally built, that a very slight touch disturbs its beautiful arrangement. Herein from four to six eggs of a deep olive colour are duly laid, and the young hatched. The nestling plumage of the nightingale differs mach from that of the adult, the feathers above being tipped with a buff spot, just as in the young of the redbreast, hedge-sparrow and redstart, thereby showing the natural affinity of all these forms. Towards the end of summer the nightingale disappears to its African winter haunts.

The name nightingale has been vaguely applied to several other birds. The so-called " Virginian nightingale " is a species of grosbeak; the " Pekin nightingale or " Japanese nightingale " is a small babbler (Liothrix luteus) inhabiting the Himalayas and China, not Japan at all.

The nightingale holds a place in classical mythology. Procne and Philomela were the daughters of Pandion, king of Attica, who in return for warlike aid rendered him by Tereus, king of Daulis in Thrace, gave him the first-named in marriage. Tereus, however, being enamoured of her sister, feigned that his wife was dead, and induced Philomela to take her place. On her discovering the truth he cut out her tongue to hinder her from revealing his deceit; but she depicted her sad story on a robe which she sent to Procne; and the two sisters then contrived a horrible revenge for the infidelity of Tereus, by killing and serving to him at table his son Itys. Thereupon the gods interposed, changing Tereus into a hoopoe, Procne into a swallow, and Philomela into a nightingale, while Itys was restored to life as a pheasant, and Pandion (who had died of grief at his daughters' dishonour) as a bird of prey (see OSPREY). The fable has several variants. Ovid's version may be seen in the 6th book of his Metamorphoses (lines 412-676). (A. N.)


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Simple English

Nightingale
File:Luscinia megarhynchos Istria
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Luscinia
Species: L. megarhynchos
Binomial name
Luscinia megarhynchos
(Brehm, 1831)

The Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) is a small bird. It is also known as Rufous and Common Nightingale. It used to be classed as a member of the Thrush family Turdidae. It belongs to a group of more terrestrial species, often called chats.

It is a migratory insectivorous species. It breeds in forests and scrubs in Europe and south-west Asia. The distribution is more southerly than the very closely related Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia. It nests on the ground within or next to dense bushes. It passes the winter southern Africa. Studies have shown that nightingales seem to choose places to breed that meet certain criteria (Wink 1973):

  • less than 200 meters above mean sea level
  • mean air temperature during the growing season above 14 °C
  • more than 20 days/year on which temperatures are above 25 °C
  • less than 750mm of rain per year.
  • no closed canopy.

The Nightingale is slightly larger than the European Robin, at 15-16.5 cm length. It is plain brown above except for the reddish tail. It is buff to white below. Sexes are similar.

Nightingales are named so because they frequently sing at night as well as during the day. The name has been used for well over 1,000 years, being highly recognizable even in its Anglo-Saxon form - 'nihtingale'. It means 'night songstress'. Early writers assumed the female sang; in fact, it is the male. The male nightingale is known for his singing, to the extent that human singers are sometimes admiringly referred to as nightingales; the song is loud, with an impressive range of whistles, trills and gurgles. Its song is particularly noticeable at night because few other birds are singing. This is why its name (in several languages) includes "night". Only unpaired males sing regularly at night, and nocturnal song is likely to serve attracting a mate. Singing at dawn, during the hour before sunrise, is assumed to be important in defending the bird's territory. Nightingales sing even more loudly in urban or near-urban environments, in order to overcome the background noise. The most characteristic feature of the song is a loud whistling crescendo, absent from the song of Thrush Nightingale. It has a frog-like alarm call.

Culture

References

  • Wink, Michael (1973): Die Verbreitung der Nachtigall (Luscinia megarhynchos) im Rheinland. Charadrius 9(2/3): 65-80. [Article in German] PDF fulltext

Other websites

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Wikimedia Commons has images, video, and/or sound related to:
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (British)- Nightingale [1]. Retrieved 2007-JUN-11.
  • Rose and nightingale in Persian art [2]
  • Rose and nightingale in Persian literature [3]

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