nightingale

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nightingale,

common name for a migratory Old World bird of the family Turdidae (thrush family), celebrated for its vocal powers. The common nightingale of England and Western Europe, Luscinia megarhynchos, is about 6 1-2 in. (16.3 cm) long, reddish-brown above and grayish-white below. It winters in Africa and reaches England about mid-April. Its famous song is delivered only by the male during the breeding season, at any time of day or night. A larger species is found in Eastern Europe. The bulbul, a prodigious songster of Persian literature, was once thought to be a nightingale but has been identified with another family; the Virginia nightingale is a grosbeak; and the Pekin, or Japanese, nightingale belongs to the babbler family. Nightingales are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Turdidae.

nightingale

identified with mortality. [Animal Symbolism: Mercatante, 163]
See: Death

nightingale

immortal bird whose voice has been heard from time immemorial. [Br. Poetry: Keats “Ode to a Nightingale”]

nightingale

1. a brownish European songbird, Luscinia megarhynchos, with a broad reddish-brown tail: well known for its musical song, usually heard at night
2. any of various similar or related birds, such as Luscinia luscinia (thrush nightingale)

Nightingale

Florence, known as the Lady with the Lamp. 1820--1910, English nurse, famous for her work during the Crimean War. She helped to raise the status and quality of the nursing profession and founded a training school for nurses in London (1860)
References in classic literature ?
Poor Jorindel saw the nightingale was gone-- but what could he do?
The song of nightingales beat on all sides against the high walls of the church, and flowed back between stone crosses and flat gray slabs, engraved with words of hope and sorrow.
Jane, do you hear that nightingale singing in the wood?
And he had also a nightingale which could sing as if all the beautiful melodies in the world were shut up in its little throat.
Let us see first what is in the other casket before we begin to be angry,' thought the Emperor, and there came out the nightingale.
From her nest in the holm-oak tree the Nightingale heard him, and she looked out through the leaves, and wondered.
Here at last is a true lover," said the Nightingale.
A NIGHTINGALE, sitting aloft upon an oak and singing according to his wont, was seen by a Hawk who, being in need of food, swooped down and seized him.
It was set about with hawthorn hedges and juniper bushes, and on the small, green branches sat a little nightingale, which sang so loud and clear "that all the garden and the walls rang right with the song.
Then to the nightingale he cried, "Lift up thine heart and sing with good intent.
And furthermore, the Prince had a nightingale, who could sing in such a manner that it seemed as though all sweet melodies dwelt in her little throat.
So the nightingale came forth and sang so delightfully that at first no one could say anything ill-humored of her.