Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia)


French: Rossignol progné German: Sprosser Spanish: Ruiseñor ruso

Motacilla Luscinia


, 1758,



Hybridization with L. megarhynchos rare. Monotypic.


N, C & E Europe E to N Kazakhstan and upper R Yenisey, also S Caucasus; winters in SE Africa.

Descriptive notes

16–17 cm; 14–37 g. Very like L. megarhynchos, but less bright or less contrastingly reddish on tail and rump, greyer on back, and generally has breast... read more


Song, regularly at night but also by day, very similar to that of L. mega­rhynchos but... read more


Lowland river valleys with deciduous and mixed woodland bordering waterbodies, beech (Fagus... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates, some fruit. Summer diet includes adult and larval beetles of many families, adult and larval moths, ants, sawflies, flies,... read more


Mid-May to early Jul, perhaps somewhat later in E; single-brooded. Nest a loose bulky cup of leaves and grass, lined with fine stems and... read more


Migratory; winters in Africa, mainly S Tanzania S to E South Africa. Very common along Red Sea... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Total European population in mid-1990s estimated at 832,226–1,041,309 pairs, with additional 100,000–1,000,000 pairs in Russia W of Urals... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).