Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

Dunnock Facts

  • Scientific name: Prunella modularis

  • Family: Accentors

  • Wingspan: 19 - 21cm (7 - 8")

  • Diet: Mainly seeds (mixes) & sunflower hearts and insects

  • Feed with: Sunflower hearts, sunflower seeds/mixes and peanuts

  • Habitat: Dunnocks love areas with cover as they are quite a shy and timid creature

  • Average Lifespan: 2 Years

  • Dunnock Characteristics

    The dunnock is a small light brown bird with a characteristic black-streaked back. It is a relatively quiet and unobtrusive bird and at first glance appears to be somewhat bland in appearance. On closer inspection, however, you'll find the dunnock features some subtle colouration, including pink legs and blue-grey head and breast. In terms of appearance, there's very little difference between male and female varieties.

    The dunnock also appears quite tetchy and nervous, constantly flicking its wings as it goes about its daily business. As a relatively shy creature, the dunnock prefers to reside in areas with cover.

    Conservation Status of the Dunnock

    The Dunnock is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List

    The Dunnock is classified as Least Concern

    Dunnock Feeding

    Dunnocks are a ground-feeding bird and enjoy snacking on insects such as ants, spiders and beetles. Over the Autumn months, you'll find seeds and berries a perfect treat for dunnocks, often taking these from bird feeding tables. They have also been known to feed on peanut granules and some suets. Dried mealworm works a treat for dunnocks as well.

    Dunnock Breeding & Nesting

    As with many birds, the nest is built exclusively by the female, constructed of twigs and moss and lined with moss and hair. Owing to their shy and timid nature, the dunnock's nest tends to be built within dense shrubs and hedges.

    Breeding typically begins in April and the incubation period of eggs tends to be between 12-13 days, and then 11-12 fledge days thereafter. Dunnock eggs are around 19mm long and feature a glossy exterior sheen. After hatching, both parents are involved in the feeding of the young. Interestingly, other dunnocks cooperate to feed young dunnocks.

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