- a marvellous singer
The nightingale lives in thickets along watercourses, lakes and bogs. It feeds on insects, worms, snails, berries and fruits.
The nightingale is probably most famous for its role in H.C. Andersen's fairy tale about the emperor who swaps his living grey nightingale with a colourful artificial bird. And lived to regret it bitterly.
Maybe the nightingale's grey-brown colours do make it a little boring to look at. On the other hand, it has a very powerful and tuneful song. Each section consists of a 'ahyit', followed by a series of clucking tones and trill and ending in a cruciendo.
The nightingale winters in tropical Africa. When it arrives in Denmark in early May, the males are busy attracting the females with their song. The nightingale's song can be heard most of the night and in the morning until the end of June. Then the mating season is over and the females have laid their eggs.
Facts about the nightingale
Height 16-17 cm
Grey-brown on chest and sides. Brown on top. Rust-red tail.
Common breeding bird throughout most of Denmark.