Male Dunnock

Dunnock

Scientific name: Prunella modularis

Did you know: Dunnocks can raise multiple broods of chicks a year, helping their population thrive despite the threat of cuckoos taking over their nests!

What Do Dunnocks Look Like? (how to identify them)

Dunnocks are small, inconspicuous birds, often seen alone, shuffling along the edges of flower beds or bushes. 

They’re primarily brown and grey, with a distinctly nervous manner and frequent wing flicking. During territorial or mating disputes, males become quite animated with wing-flapping and loud calls.

Differences Between Male And Female Dunnocks

Male and female Dunnocks are similar in appearance, but the females are usually slightly more colourful, especially during the breeding season.

What Do Dunnocks Eat?

Dunnocks have a varied diet, primarily feeding on insects, spiders, worms, and seeds. They’re often seen foraging on the ground, picking food meticulously.

Where Do Dunnocks Live? (inc. migration info)

Dunnocks are found across the UK in woodland, urban, suburban, farmland, and grassland habitats. They are sedentary birds, generally staying within their territories year-round.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Dunnocks)

Dunnocks have a discreet presence but can be identified by their sharp, high-pitched ‘tseep’ call. Their song is a rapid and thin warble, often mistaken for the Eurasian wren’s song.

Fun Dunnock Facts (kid friendly)

  • Dunnocks are sometimes called “hedge sparrows” but are not true sparrows.
  • They can raise multiple broods of chicks in a single year.
  • Dunnocks have a unique mating system where females may mate with several males.
  • In a territory dispute, Dunnocks engage in wing-flicking and loud calling.
  • They often fall prey to cuckoos, who lay eggs in their nests.
  • Dunnocks are known for their shy and reserved behaviour.
  • They can be found hopping along the ground searching for insects.
  • Dunnocks are more common in pairs than in flocks.
  • Their population is around 2.3 million territories in the UK.
  • Dunnocks are small, only about 14 cm in length with a wingspan of 19-21 cm.

Dunnock Images

Male Dunnock Male
Female Dunnock Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Dunnock

Diet: Insects, spiders, worms and seeds.
Bird Family: Accentors
Length: 14 cm
Wingspan: 19-21cm
Weight: 19-24g
Scientific Name: Prunella modularis

The Dunnock Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December