Animals >>


Singing Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) in Berlin, GermanyCommon Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)Nachtigall (Luscinia megarhynchos)Nightingale (Luscinia Magarhynchos)
[Jump to Article]

Nightingale Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Luscinia Magarhynchos
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
14cm - 16.5cm (5.5in - 6.5in)
The measurement from one wing tip to the other
20cm - 22cm (7.9in - 9in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
15g - 22g (0.5oz - 0.7oz)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
29km/h (18mph)
How long the animal lives for
1 - 3 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Tan
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Open forests and thickets
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laid at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Fruit, Nuts, Seeds, Insects
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Rats, Cats, Lizards
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Small body size with no markings and thin beak

Nightingale Location

Map of Nightingale Locations


The nightingale is a small species of bird thought to be formally members of the thrush family. The nightingale is often mistaken for the robin, as the nightingale is about the same size and the female robin is very similar in appearance to the nightingale.

The nightingale is a morning bird and the nightingale can often be heard singing it's loud song at dawn. In urban areas, the nightingale will sing even louder at dawn to make up for the extra background noise.

The nightingale breeds naturally in the European and Asian forests during the summer months and the nightingale then migrates to Africa for the winter, to it's warmer climates. The nightingale returns north in the spring again to nest.

The nightingale is believed to have been named more than 1,000 years ago, with the term nightingale meaning night songstress in Anglo-Saxon. The nightingale was named due to the fact that the nightingale is often heard singing during the night as well as during the day. It is thought that it is the single (unpaired) male nightingales that sing during the night which they do to try and attract a mate.

Nightingales are small birds with the average adult nightingale being around 15cm in height. The nightingale has plain brown feathers covering it's body and is known to have a red-sided tail.

Nightingales are omnivorous birds and feed on a mixture of fruits, seeds, insects and nuts. Nightingales have many predators in their natural environment mainly due to their small size. Predators of the nightingale include mammals such as rats, foxes and cats and reptiles like large lizards and snakes. Nightingales are also hunted by large birds of prey.

Nightingales inhabit thick forests and woodland in Europe and Asia, excluding those that are in the far north. Despite the large number of nightingales present in their natural habitats, nightingales can often be difficult birds to spot. Nightingales can be heard easily due to their loud singing but are often found hiding in dense foliage out of sight.

Nightingales mate in the spring, and the female nightingale build a cup-shaped nest in a dense thicket close to the ground. Nightingale nests are often very hidden from the outside world, and are made up of twigs, leaves and grass. The female nightingale lays between 2 and 5 eggs per clutch, and the nightingale chicks hatch after an incubation period of just a couple of weeks.

Nightingales travel vast distances every year in order to migrate between the north and the south. The average lifespan of the nightingale is around 2 years, although some nightingale individuals (particularly those nightingales in captivity) have been known to live for a far amount longer.

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. It's song is particularly noticeable at night because few other birds are singing. This is why it's 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.

Are you Safe?

Are you Safe? is an online safety campaign by If something has upset you, the Are you Safe? campaign can help you to speak to someone who can help you.

Are you Safe?

Nightingale Comments

Awesome lad
"Thanks for the excellent information it helped me so much keep doing this kind of stuff please!!!!"
"There is nothing about this bird you wont know after reading this unless you do the research in person. This website really helped and I've recommended it to many of my friends. I will continue to use this website. Thank You All"
"Really informative !"
"Wow! Thanks so much! i had a nightingale in my garden and wasn't sure if it was a robin. this helped a lot! thanks heaps!"
Ameer faisal
"Nightingale is one of our planet's most beautiful bird if we argue about nightingale's voice then we'll come to know how melodious its voice is! It is very sensible creature on our planet it means on our earth."
Showing 5 of 11 comments.
Show More Comments

Post Comment

Please enter a nickname which you can use to identify your comment, but which others can not use to identify you. Please do not use your online usernames/handles which you use for social networking.

Article Tools

Add to Phobia Filter
Update your Nightingale phobia filter.
Print Article
View printer friendly version of Nightingale article.
Source/Reference Article
Learn how you can use or cite the Nightingale article in your website content, school work and other projects.

First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 10th September 2018

1. Christopher Perrins, Oxford University Press (2009) The Encyclopedia Of Birds [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
2. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
Subscribe to A-Z Animals and enjoy our website without advertising! Subscribe Now