©Amy Lewis


©Chris Gomersall/2020VISION


Scientific name: Luscinia megarhynchos
The melodious song of the nightingale is the most likely sign of this bird being about. Shy and secretive, it sings from dense scrub and woodland, day and night.

Species information


Length: 16cm
Wingspan: 24cm
Weight: 21g
Average lifespan: 2 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2021).

When to see

April to September


A shy bird, the nightingale is about the same size as a robin and a summer visitor, arriving here in April and leaving in September. Nightingales nest in dense scrub, from where they sing their famously beautiful melodies throughout the day and at night.

How to identify

The nightingale is best recognised by its song. If spotted, it is a robust, broad-tailed, plain brown bird without the streaks of the dunnock or the red-breast of the robin.


Breeds in South East England, mainly south of the Severn-Wash line.

Did you know?

Nightingales are famously the best singers of all UK birds, their harmonies immortalised in literature throughout history and inspiring the likes of Homer, Milton and Keats.