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 ?
He is weeping for a red rose," said the Nightingale.
But the Nightingale understood the secret of the Student's sorrow, and she sat silent in the oak-tree, and thought about the mystery of Love.
So the Nightingale flew over to the Rose-tree that was growing round the old sun-dial.
One red rose is all I want," cried the Nightingale, "only one red rose
Tell it to me," said the Nightingale, "I am not afraid.
Death is a great price to pay for a red rose," cried the Nightingale, "and Life is very dear to all.
Be happy," cried the Nightingale, "be happy; you shall have your red rose.
The Student looked up from the grass, and listened, but he could not understand what the Nightingale was saying to him, for he only knew the things that are written down in books.
But the Oak-tree understood, and felt sad, for he was very fond of the little Nightingale who had built her nest in his branches.
So the nightingale came forth and sang so delightfully that at first no one could say anything ill-humored of her.
Thou could'st not prize the rose and the nightingale, but thou wast ready to kiss the swineherd for the sake of a trumpery plaything.
I don't know whether all nightingales do this, or if it is peculiar to this particular spot.