Why not download our nightingale fact sheet?
nightingale fact sheet
- A bird that's heard rather than seen
- Russet brown above with a rusty red tail and pale undersides
- The song is very distinctive - fast, loud and rich, often commencing with a 'choc, choc' - click on the recording below to listen:
Often associated with coppiced woodland but also in open woodland with plenty of undergrowth, wooded heaths and tangled scrub.
When to look for
- A summer visitor, so listen out from late April.
Fabulous nightingale facts
- Slightly larger than robins
- Nightingales sing throughout the day as well as at night
- They are secretive and take refuge in impenetrable bushes and thickets
- According to the RSPB, in the UK nightingales breed mainly south of the Severn-Wash line and east from Dorset to Kent, with the highest densities found in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Kent and Sussex
- They sing until late May - early June, then leave from July to September for Africa where they spend the winter
- They eat insects, spiders and worms as well as berries and fruit
- John Keats immortalised them in his famous poem 'Ode to a Nightingale' in the nineteenth century