#15 Life on Land – The Emperors Nightingale

The Emperors Nightingale, a fairytale from H.-C. Andersen is a strong reminder for mankind, that biodiversity and life on Planet Earth is fragile and needs to be protected!

Externally due to their reddish-brown plumage, rather inconspicuous, has the 16 to 17 centimeters large nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos), however, a very distinctive voice, which is also their namesake. Their food consists mainly of insects and their larvae as well as earthworms and spiders. In late summer it also eats berries and juicy fruits. 120 to 260 different types of stanzas dominate the male nightingale, which tunes their singing mainly at night, during the breeding season for territorial defense during the day.

With her beautiful singing, the nightingale was the source of inspiration for famous composers such as Chopin and Beethoven or playwrights and storytellers such as Shakespeare and H.C. Andersen. Nowadays, the nightingale is often only known to most people due to popular songs. This is because our living environment offers fewer and fewer breeding opportunities for the ground-nesting bird, which relies on dense undergrowth and a protective fall-leaf layer.

The nightingale prefers habitats such as light deciduous and alluvial forests, parks, cemeteries and hedgerows. In Germany, there are still about 95,000 breeding pairs of the nightingale, which hibernate in tropical Africa, north of the equator. But dangers lurk on the way there. Because in Cyprus and northern Egypt, bird traps often seal their fate. A lucrative business, the songbirds are considered a delicacy in Egyptian markets. Each year, about 140 million migratory birds die.


With the nature fairy tale The Emperor’s Nightingale, the children of the fourth grade of the elementary school Otto Boye from Haldensleben, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, campaign for more environmental awareness to protect their native habitats and especially for the protection of nightingales and other migratory birds on their way to the South during wintertime.

The Emperor’s Nightingale is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here