We're joining forces with Hampshire Ornithological Society to try and halt the decline of the common nightingale in Hampshire.
The common nightingale Luscina meghynchos is widely celebrated in literature and music for the beauty of its song. It is one of the most eagerly anticipated summer migrants and a true sign that the dull and dreary days of winter are behind us and spring has finally sprung. But imagine if future generations were unable to enjoy this beautiful songster and its presence in Hampshire was assigned to history.
The nightingale is in trouble across the British Isles and has undergone a marked range contraction and overall population decline. The recently published Birds of Conservation Concern 4 identified 67 species as being of the greatest conservation concern; the nightingale was one of those, and was elevated from the Amber to the Red list after these declines.
In Hampshire, the nightingale has declined dramatically since the 1950s. At the time of the 1986-9 Atlas, that county population was estimated at 204 – 360 pairs . During the most recent survey, organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the population had dropped to 61 – 65 pairs and their overall range fell by three quarters . Initial indications from 2017 records suggest approximately 25 territories.