Alternative names: Rufous Nightingale; Western Nightingale
- Luscinia megarhynchos
A grey-brown chat (16 - 17cm)
- Warm brown above
- Rusty-brown tail and rump
- Whitish below with sandy-buff breast and flanks
- Prominent large black eye with pale narrow eyering
- Indistinctive grey supercilium
Breeds in southern England and from Iberia and France east to central Poland, Hungary, the Balkans and Greece, also in the Ukraine, Caucasus and northern Turkey, and parts of the Middle East. Breeds on most larger Mediterranean islands and the coastal strip of North-West Africa. First breeding for Malta was in 1995.
The breeding range extends outside Europe into Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and Afghanistan2.
Migratory, leaving breeding areas in late July-early October and passing through the southern half of the Region to winter in sub-Saharan Africa and returning from early April-mid May.
Clements1 accepts three subspecies:
- L. m. megarhynchos found in north-western Africa, Europe to central Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean
- L. m. africana found in the Caucasus, eastern Turkey and to Iran
- L. m. golzii from eastern Iran to Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and Afghanistan (formerly hafizi)
The races differ only slightly in colour and size. They are not always separable.
The habitat is varying through the range of this species. In W and N Europe it prefers open woodland with thickets, usually near water. In S Europe also dry maquis, edges of broadleaf forest without water or pinewoods with rich undergrowth are taken.2
The diet includes insects.
The male sings at night.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2005. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 10: Cuckoo-Shrikes to Thrushes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334726
- Jonsson, L. 1992. Birds of Europe. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-5238-1