The most melodious nightingale

imagNo bird has been written so much by poets as the nightingale. Its song is supposed to be the most beautiful of all and nobody has been quite able to describe it. As a matter of fact this attempt at describing it goes back to Aristophanes the ancient Greek writerdownload

According to the poets the nightingale sings only at night and at almost any season of the year. But this isn’t true. The nightingale is a migratory bird and in England for example can only be heard between the middle of April and the middle of June. The nightingale does not visit Ireland  Wales or Scotland. On the continent of Europe it is quite abundant in the South and even goes as far as Iran, Arabia, Abyssinia, Algeria and the Gold Coast of Africa. Only the male nightingale sings. His melody is the song of courtship to his mate which remains silent in a neighbouring bush or tree. He sings during the day as well as at night but because of other birds his song is not noticed so much then.images

The male keeps singing until the female has hatched out her brood. Then he remains quiet so as not to attract enemies to the nest. He stays on guard and his notes are short calls to tell his mate that all is well or to warn her of some danger. While the nightingale sings one of the most beautiful songs of all birds. Its plumage is very inconspicuous. Male and female are very much alike—a reddish brown above and dull grayish white beneath.images (1)

The nest the nightingales build is somewhat unusual. It is placed on or near the ground. The outside of the nest consist mostly of dead leaves set up vertically. In the midst of this is a deep cuplike hollow neatly lined with fibres from roots. It is very loosely constructed and a very slight touch can disturb it. There are from four to six eggs of a deep olive colour.

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