Daulias luscinia, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 328 (1766) (Hewitson), i. p. 124, pl. xxxiii ; (Naumann), ii. p. 374, Taf. 74, fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. ii. pl. 116, id., B. of Gt. Brit. ii. pl. 56 ; Newton, i. p. 312 ; Dresser, ii. p. 363, pl. 56, fig. 1 ; (Seebohm), Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 294 ; Saunders, p. 39 ; Lilford, iii. p. 8. pl. 4.
Rossignol, French ; Ruxinol, Portug. ; Ruisenor, Span. ; Rusig-nuolo, Ital. ; Nachtigall, German ; Nachtegaal, Dutch ; Lapadnay-solovey, Russian.
Male ad. (England). Upper parts generally rich brown with a rufous tinge, under parts greyish white ; upper tail-coverts and tail rusty red ; bill and legs brown ; iris hazel ; first primary extending 0.2 beyond the primary coverts, second primary about equal to the fifth. Culmen 0.65, wing 3.3, tail 2.65, tarsus 1.05 inch. The female resembles the male but the young are darker, and have the upper parts spotted with ochreous, and the under parts washed with brownish yellow, the feathers with greyish brown edges.
Hab. Central southern and western Europe ranging into the south of England, and as far east as Russia, where, however, it is rare ; winters in Africa as far south as Abyssinia, Nubia, and the Sudan. Though retiring in its habits it is not a shy bird and is often met with near human habitations.
It frequents woodlands, groves, and gardens, especially low-lying damp localities, and feeds chiefly on the ground, its food consisting almost exclusively of insects of various kinds. As a songster it is unrivalled, no European bird having so rich and varied a song. It sings both in the day and night, more especially in the latter, and its song may be heard until its young are hatched. It breeds in May and only raises one brood in the season. Its nest, which is constructed externally of dry leaves, usually those of the oak, and lined with line bents, rootlets, and occasionally horsehair, is placed on or close to the ground in some sheltered place, where the grass and under¬growth is thick, and its eggs, 4 to 6 in number, are deep olive brown or olivaceous, unspotted, and vary in size from 0.87 by 0.67 to 0.75 by 0.53.
106. Daulias luscinia