Common Nightingale/Luscinia megarhynchos

Common Nightingale/Luscinia megarhynchos - Photographer: Георги Петров
Common Nightingale/Luscinia megarhynchos - Photographer: Петър Петров
Common Nightingale/Luscinia megarhynchos - Photographer: Frank Schulkes
Common Nightingale/Luscinia megarhynchos - Photographer: Qenan Maxhuni

L 15-16½ cm. This is the ‘real’ nightingale, with the more beautiful song, which has found a place in literature and in the minds of everyday people. Breeds in woods and groves with rich undergrowth, often by water but also in drier habitats with dense shrubbery; at times in gardens and orchards. Summer visitor (mainly Apr-Sep), winters in S Africa.
IDENTIFICATION: More often heard than seen, and when seen its appearance is, for many, surprisingly plain: brown above with rusty-red tail and rump, grey-buff below with diffusely paler throat. The rather big black eye is set off by an indistinct whitish eye-ring. Very like Thrush Nightingale, and sometimes inseparable in field, but at close range a shade redder on uppertail and lacks obvious grey vermiculation on lower throat/breast (but can have light grey shading). - Variation: Birds in Central Asia (hafizi) are paler, longer-tailed and have a hint of a pale supercilium.
VOICE: Has no conspicuous calls. Alarm a whistled, slightly upslurred ‘üihp’, as well as a creaking ‘errrr’. Song powerful and melodic, varied throughout, phrases rather short (2-4 sec.) with often equal-length pauses in between, consisting of trilling sounds, fluted whistles and rippling or gurgling notes; the song is best recognized by recurring whistles in crescendo, ‘lu lu lü lü li li’.

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