There are many different kinds of songbirds. Of them, nightingales are the most sensational singers. Not all species of songbirds sing well. The songs of the nightingale have been described as one of the most beautiful sounds of nature. These sounds have been the very reason behind the famous poetries and fairy tales. One good example is that of John Keats’s Ode to a Nightingale.
Nightingales are members of Turdidae family. Thrush, blue birds and robins too belong to the same family. All these birds are excellent singers. They normally live in thick vegetation especially shrubs. They are many varieties of nightingales of which one is native to central, southern Europe and central Asia and two other live only in Asia and Africa. During winter, the birds in Europe and Asia migrate to Africa. As these birds live deep in the dense forests and cannot be found easily, it is not possible for us to hear them.
Not so colorful these birds are brown above and white below. They are about 16cms long. Only the male birds sing day and night during the breeding season. These birds got their name from their very habit of singing long even after dark and also the sound is quite loud that it can overcome any background noise if any. Females select the males based on the musical performance. Females build nest and lay about four to five eggs. They feed on small insects and fruits.
Nightingales are the national birds of Iran. Their population is on decline in Britain in recent years due to the grazing of shrubs by deer.