© Copyright: Images: Jouko Lehmuskallio, Kari Pihlaviita, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Thrush Nightingale

Luscinia luscinia

  • Family: Flycatchers – Muscicapidae
  • Appearance: Unconspicuous uniform brown. Similar to female Redtsart, but slightly larger tail a uniform reddish brown. Some grey-brown speckling on breast.
  • Size: Length 15–17 cm, weight 24–31 g.
  • Nest: Usually on the ground, well concealed, often among nettles. Made of grass and dry leaves, lined with feathers and fine grass.
  • Breeding: Lays 3–6 eggs May–June. Only females incubate, for 13–14 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 11–14 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in dense, young deciduous woodlands, farmland copses and parks, found as far north as Kainuu, but scarcer in more northerly parts of range. Finnish breeding population estimated at 18,000–25,000 pairs. Has expanded range and become more common in recent years.
  • Migration: Nocturnal. Flies south August–September, returning in May–June. Winters in tropical Africa.
  • Diet: Invertebrates.
  • Calls: A harsh clicking “dsrak”; alarm call a high-pitched “hiit”. Song consists of powerful whistles and rattles, performed at high volume but not exceptionally melodic, audible from a long distance on a calm summer night. Sings most readily between May and late June.

Thrush Nightingales are unpretentious in appearance, with their uniform brown plumage. Their only more colourful feature is their reddish brown tail. Their breasts have mottled greyish brown markings. They can be distinguished from otherwise similar female Redstarts by their larger size and generally darker appearance. Their longer legs also differentiate them from warblers. Thrush Nightingales’ legs are pale brown, their beaks are dark brown, and they have reddish brown eyes.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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