Belongs to: thrushes and chats

Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos

BoCC Red list

Best time to see: mid Apr to mid Aug

Key facts

Famous songster more often heard than seen, with a vibrant virtuoso song

Habitat: open woodland with dense low ground cover, such as coppiced woods

Uncommon summer visitor in marked decline


Warm brown back, rust-red tail; 16–17 cm

Skulking bird, usually hidden deep in vegetation; feeds on insects,

Sings its vibrant, virtuoso song by night to attract females at first, and later when nesting by day also 


The male spreads its tail, flutters its wings and bows in its courtship display

Nest is a cup well hidden in dense undergrowth close to the ground, such as in a bramble patch

One brood of 4–5 mottled reddish eggs, May to June

© David Harrison