Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos   [CL Brehm, 1831]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Turdidae
BTO Codes: N., NIGAL EURING No: 11040
Number in Britain: 6700 Males (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: AMBER
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: megarhynchos (BW), golzii (V) recorded in Britain (of 4 subsp. in the world)
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Length: 16 cm Wingspan: 24 cm Weight: M/F: 21 g    
Scientific name from: L.: luscinia=nightingale and Gr.: megas + rhunkhos=bill
World Distribution: BREEDS: Europe (except n), cw Asia, WINTERS: tropical Africa
Habitat: Thickets
Diet: Insects, esp. beetles and ants, also berries in autumn
TitBit: It is unlikely that Vera Lynn ever heard a Nightingale singing in Berkeley Square, it was much more likely to have been a Robin, which also sings at night.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 6700 Males in 1999
    First Record: Recorded in Anglo-Saxon times [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Wilson, A.M. et al. (2002) Bird Study 49:193-204
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1981-2007),
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: megarhynchos AMBER (Recent Decline)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
European Population Size:
    Summer: 3.2 to 7 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(III),Bonn(II)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 21 x 16 mm Egg Weight: 2.7 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 5
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs 4.63 ± 0.73 (2 - 6) N = 111
Incubation: 14- 14 days 13.75 ± 0.83 (12 - 15.5) N = 111   by the: Female
Fledging: 11 - 13days 11.98 ± 1.12 (10 - 14) N = 216 as: Altricial, downy
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 13 May (5 May - 6 Jun)
Number of Broods: 1-2
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.463 ± 0.043       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 7 years 1 months 17 days (set in 1996)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: A or B (pulli B)
Wing Length Adult: 83.3 ± 2.3 Range 80 - 87 mm, N =653
Juvenile: 82.7 ± 2.3 79 - 86 mm, N =126
Male: 84.3 ± 2.1 81 - 88 mm, N =298
Female: 82.1 ± 2.1 78 - 85 mm, N =155
Weight Adult: 21.12 ± 1.92 Range 18.40 - 24.40 g , N =528
Juvenile: 22.64 ± 2.54 19.20 - 27.00 g , N =114
Male: 21.26 ± 1.58 19.00 - 23.90 g , N =245
Female: 21.06 ± 2.38 18.00 - 26.00 g , N =108
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Common Nightingale
Gaelic: Seiniolach Welsh: Eos
Danish: Sydlig nattergal Dutch: Nachtegaal
Finnish: Etelänsatakieli French: Rossignol philomèle
German: Nachtigall Hungarian: Fülemüle
Icelandic: Næturgali Irish: Filiméala
Italian: Usignolo Norwegian: Sørnattergal
Polish: Slowik rdzawy Portuguese: Rouxinol-comum
Spanish: Ruiseñor común Swedish: Sydnäktergal
Local Names: Barley Bird
Collective Noun:Watch

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Pike, O.G. 1932 The Nightingale, its story and song etc Arrowsmith, London [591.76 PIK]
   Mabey, R. 2010 The barley bird: notes on the Suffolk nightingale Full Circle Editions,
   Holt, C.A. et al. 2012 The nightingale in Britain: status, ecology and conservation needs British Birds 105:172-187
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides