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Nightingale (Luscinia; Ukrainian: соловейко; soloveiko). A small (approximately 14–17 cm long) Eurasian bird of the thrush family Turdidae, renowned for its singing ability (see Songbirds). In Ukraine the western or southern nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) is found primarily in the Crimea but also in Transcarpathia, Polisia, and the western regions of the forest-steppe; the eastern or common nightingale (Luscinia luscinia) is found throughout Ukraine; and the blue-throated nightingale (Luscinia svecica) is found everywhere except the Crimea, the Carpathian Mountains, and the steppe. The nightingale is commonly invoked in Ukrainian folk songs and folklore in the image of a creator of sweet sounds, a builder of homes, and a harbinger of spring. The word soloveiko is a term of personal endearment.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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