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Home > Bird Feeding Blog > The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Tuesday, 20th February 2018

The Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) is a small brown bird with a coppery tail with uniform brown plumage and a large dark eye. It is a summer resident mainly in the east and south of England. Nightingales are a little bigger and more slender than a Robin; the rich russet colour of the tail is often the only noticeable feature of the creeping adult.
The date when Nightingales arrive in the UK is getting earlier each year, probably due to climate change. From late April onwards it pours out its richly vibrant and fluty song from a well-concealed perch near the ground and contradictory to popular opinion sings as much by the day as it does by night.

The Nightingale loves thick tangled scrub and bushes and is consequently a difficult bird to watch. You might naturally expect a nightingale to nest in trees, but it builds its nest on or just above ground level.

Nightingales have declined by 90 per cent in the last 50 years and is now a red status species.
Nightingales are able to produce over 1000 different sounds, compared with just 340 from skylarks and 100 from even the most tuneful of blackbirds. This is because part of the brain responsible for song is bigger in Nightingales than in most other birds. 

Nightingales feed mainly on insects, usually foraging on the ground, and they have a particular love for ants and beetles.

Male nightingales that sing through the night are usually single birds who are trying to charm migrating females down as they fly over.
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