The nightingale is often mistaken for the robin, as the nightingale is about the same size and the female robin is very similar in appearance to the nightingale. The nightingale is a morning bird and the nightingale can often be heard singing it's loud song at dawn.
The common nightingale has also been used as a symbol of poets or their poetry. Poets chose the nightingale as a symbol because of its creative and seemingly spontaneous song. Aristophanes's Birds and Callimachus both evoke the bird's song as a form of poetry. Virgil compares the mourning of Orpheus to the “lament of the nightingale”.
The common nightingale is an important symbol for poets from a variety of ages, and has taken on a number of symbolic connotations. Homer evokes the nightingale in the Odyssey, suggesting the myth of Philomela and Procne (one of whom, depending on the myth's version, is turned into a nightingale).
An adult thrush nightingale is about 16 centimetres (6.3 in) long with a wingspan of approximately 18 centimetres (7.1 in). The head, nape and the whole of the upper parts of the thrush nightingale are dark brown with a slight olive tinge. The colour is much deeper than that of the nightingale and is not at all rufous.