Wildlife in Italy: Nightingale of the river Cettia cetti Temminck, 1820

Wildlife in Italy: Nightingale of the river Cettia cetti Temminck, 1820

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformi
Family: cettiidae
Kind: Cettia
Species: C. cetti Temminck, 1820

The species is distributed in southern and western Europe, in the Caucasian area, in north-western Africa, from eastern Asia Minor to Afghanistan. It nests in Europe, in the north-west of Africa and in the south-west of temperate Asia, up to Afghanistan and north-west Pakistan. He is a recent colonizer of England and southern Scotland. In Italy, the species has shown a significant tendency to expand its range from the beginning of the 1970s, colonizing various sectors of the northern regions (source

3 subspecies have been described:
- Cettia cetti albiventris Severtsov, 1873
- Cettia cetti cetti (Temminck, 1820)
- Cettia cetti orientalis Tristram, 1867

River Nightingale - Cettia cetti (photo Armando Caldas)

River Nightingale - Cettia cetti (photo

Nest with River Nightingale eggs - Cettia cetti (photo

Distinctive characters

Length: 13-14 cm
Wingspan: 15-18 cm

Males and females of all ages are practically indistinguishable from each other. The coloration is brown on the upper part and lighter grayish brown in the lower parts with whitish throat. A fairly noticeable whitish eyebrow passes just above the eye. The legs are brown and the beak is brown above and lighter underneath. It often keeps its tail quite raised.


It nests (from April to June) on the bushes near the water. The male is polygamous, and builds, among thick bushes, more cup-shaped nests, in which he will then attract future companions. Once the pair is formed, the female lays 4 to 6 eggs, which she hatches for about two weeks. After birth, the chicks will remain in the nest for another ten days, where they will be scrupulously cared for by their parents.

Video: Beautiful river view. Relaxing nature. sounds of river and birds (June 2022).