Japanese Nightingale: All you need to know about this bird

The Japanese nightingale is a bird whose scientific name is Lieothrix lutea. This is very different from the common nightingale, as well as the bastard nightingale. Although they belong to the same order of passerines, they are two distinct families. However, it should be noted that they share similar characteristics.

For this reason, the Japanese nightingale is one of the many species of nightingales that exist in the world, and as already mentioned, it may share similar characteristics of the other nightingales. On the other hand, it is interesting to know its origin, and the quality of its song, which is comparable to the song of the common nightingale. But let’s see a little more about the characteristics of the Japanese nightingale.

Description of the Japanese Nightingale

The Japanese nightingale reaches a length of about six inches, although this is an average, as it can be a little more or less.These birds are beautiful, as their colors are very vivid and striking. This is because they are bright, and they attract attention.

Just look at the head and neck, as well as the flanks and back, along with the tail to see the color that is displayed in their feathers. These feathers are green with gray tones.

On the other hand, in the throat and chest, yellow and orange colors can be seen. This composition is interesting because at the height of the throat the yellow turns out to be intense, but as it falls towards the chest, the color changes to orange, in a sort of gradient.

Also the wings are of these same colors. As for the beak, it has an orange hue combined with red; and its legs are flesh-colored. For this reason, the Japanese nightingale is an extremely striking, and therefore beautiful, bird.

An interesting aspect of the Japanese nightingale is that there is no marked sexual dimorphism in this species. It is only possible to recognize the male from the female because in the case of the latter, the colors of its plumage are more opaque.

Distribution and habitat

The Japanese nightingale is a species native to the southern part of the Asian continent. It is found as far south as Thailand and as far south as China. In this sense, its name is a bit strange, as it is not a bird native to Japan. Moreover, as already seen, it does not belong exactly to the nightingale class; however, because of its song, it has also been so named.

However, since the eighties of the twentieth century, this bird was introduced in Japan, where they have grown significantly, and therefore, it derives its name from there. But this bird is not only found in Japan. It can also be found in Europe, especially in France, Portugal and Spain.

In these countries it is considered an invasive bird, as it is not native to the region. Because of this, the sale and breeding of these birds has been banned.

Although it prefers to live in wetlands and dense forests, the truth is that the Japanese nightingale can easily adapt to any environment it inhabits. Thus, in urban spaces it can inhabit any place that comes its way, demonstrating its capacity for adaptability.

On the other hand, it is not a migratory bird. That is why it cannot be said that these birds arrived through migratory routes, as happens with other species. Therefore, its presence in other parts of the world is due, more than anything else, to the sale and disproportionate distribution of this bird in other parts of the world.


The food of the Japanese nightingale consists basically of eating insects. For this reason, this bird is classified as an insectivorous bird. This means that it is capable of eating any type of insects, as well as worms.

However, in certain seasons, such as winter, due to the scarcity of insects, it is also forced to eat fruits, as well as seeds and berries. This indicates that it is a bird that can adapt very well.


The reproduction process begins just when it starts to build its nest, after having found a mate. The nest consists basically of leaves, as well as lichens and moss. Unlike many birds, which build their nest in high places, the Japanese nightingale builds its nest in low branches or bushes. This makes the nest an easy target for predators.

The clutch usually consists of between three to five eggs. These are blue in color and have red dots. Both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs. This period can last about twelve days. After hatching, and after three weeks, the chicks are able to leave their nests.