This page of the book is from "The New Student's Reference Work: Volume 3" by Chandler B. Beach, Frank Morton McMurry and others.
NIGHTINGALE 135« NIGHT-SCHOOLS
nighthawk, for it is far removed from being a hawk save in keenness of vision. As
a rule this bird hunts in small companies of his fel-lows; one never tires of watching i t in its hunting. In the evening,high, high o ve r-head the bird sails along, from height and ease making sud-denest drop down to low-fe r atmosphere, where its wonderful vision has discovered a fly, mosquito, beetle or moth. During the heat of the day it rests, sitting motionless on limb, wall or lichen-covered rock, — any place where it will be inconspicuous. The nest is made in hollow rock or on bare ground, and there are two speckled gray eggs. These eggs are sometimes found on a house-top in the city. Frequently after nesting-season is over, night-hawks gather in towns, hunt the myriad insects about street-lights, resting on roofs by day. They are widely distributed in North America. When they migrate, they travel in large flocks. The sound made by them is another way in which to distinguish them from the whip-poor-will ; as they fly their call is a sharp "pee-ent! pee-ent!" and when they make a drop through the air and then turn suddenly upward, there is heard a peculiar "boo-oom, boo-oom"—thought to be caused by the action of the air on the outstretched wings and tail. In localities where they are numerous the evening air resounds with the nighthawk's boom, which, heard at a distance, betrays the unseen bird. See Chapman : Bird Life.
Night'ingale, a bird famous on account of its brilliant song, which for quality and variety is not exceeded by that of any other bird. The song of the nightingale has been a theme of poets for ages. Homer wrote of the "sweet, tawny nightingale" that "deep in leafy shades complains, trilling her thick-warbled strains." Milton called the nightingale "most musical, most melancholy bird." Coleridge wrote:
".....the merry nightingale
That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates, With fast, thick warble his delicious notes. As if he were fearful an April night Would be too short for him to utter forth His love-chaunt, and disburden his full soul Of all its music."
This bird belongs to the group of Old World warblers, and is not found in the New World. Its range is central and western Europe; it is abundant in Spain and Portugal, and abounds in portions of the midland, eastern and southern counties of England. Thicket and hedge and wet meadow are its favorite haunt. It is during the nesting season the rr lie pours forth his glorious song, to be heard from the middle of April to perhaps a little later than the middle of June. Both day and night he
sings. Apart from the wonderful song, the utterance of the nightingale is not musical; Mitchell, in
Cries and Call-Notes of Wild Birds, declares the common alarm cry very like the croak of a frog, and speaks of its call as a " squeak " and of a high "distress-note." The bird is about the size of the hedge sparrow; graceful of form; in color, reddish-brown above and grayish-white below. Its loosely constructed nest is usually built on the ground, sometimes in low brush. In rare beauty of song, our hermit thrush has been compared to the nightingale. Our cardinal bird (cardinal grosbeak) is sometimes called the Virginia nightingale.
Nightingale, Florence, an English philanthropist, daughter of William Edward Nightingale, was born at Florence, Italy, in May, 1820, and during the course of her study of science, mathematics and classics with her father, showed a great desire to lessen human suffering, so much so that in 1844 she began a tour of Europe, looking into the condition of hospitals, and in 1851 entered upon a course of study as a trained nurse at Kaiserswerth on the Rhine. On Nov. 4, 1854, the year of the outbreak of the Crimean War, she arrived at Scutari with thirty trained nurses and took charge of the military hospitals until the close in July of 185Ŏ. She then turned her attention to the improvement of the sanitary condition of the army, and wrote many books and papers on that and kindred subjects, among them Notes on Nursing, Notes on Hospitals, Life or Death in India, etc. She was the founder of St. Thomas' Home in London for the training of nurses and the recipient of a cross from the late Queen Victoria and a bracelet from the sultan of Turkey. Longfellow praised her in Santa Filoména. See Life by S. A. Tooley, She died Aug. 13, 1910. Night'-Schools. This term is applied to schools giving instruction only in the evening or to the evening classes of any school.