A Nightingale on Her Nest, England

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Perhaps no bird has figured in poetry so often as the nightingale. It is the bulbul of the Persian poets. It has been a favorite theme of English poets from Chaucer to Keats. Its song is sweet and full of melody, and carries a long distance. The fact that is sings after night, when all else is still, has made it popular. Here is a part of a poem that Keats wrote about it, as he listened to its night song through his open window. The bird is described as flying from one thicket to another far away: Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades,
Past the near meadows, over the hill stream,
Up the hillside, and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:-Do I wake or sleep? It is the male bird that sings. He sings in fine weather in the daytime as well as at night. He can be heard only from early May to the middle of June, for he sings only till the young are hatched. The nest is begun in the early part of May. The birds of the species you see here are to be found only in central Europe and Africa. They go to Africa for the winter. In the spring they return to their summer haunts. They prefer thick woodsy spots in damp places. The nightingale is not a large bird. From the bill to the tip of the tail it measures only a half foot. What bird do you know of about the same size? It has a brownish back, and a buff-colored breast. Its eggs are generally brown. From 4 to 6 are laid in the nest. Of what is the nest built? Is it near the ground? Make a list of birds that nest on the ground; in bushes; in trees. How would you go about to take the picture you see here? Keystone ID: 21200 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.