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Nightingale
File:Nachtigall (Luscinia megarhynchos)
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. 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; but in fact, we have learned 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.

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. 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 on 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.

External links

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Nightingale

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
nightingale

Plural
nightingales

nightingale (plural nightingales)

  1. A European singing bird, Luscinia megarhynchos in the family Turdidae.

Translations

See also


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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