Dunnock - Prunella modularis


Sometimes called the Hedge Sparrow, though it is not a sparrow at all, but the only UK accentor. This small brown and grey bird is quiet and unobtrusive, often seen on its own, creeping along the edge of a flower bed or near to a bush, moving with a rather nervous, shuffling gait, often flicking its wings as it goes. The song is thin and tinkling, a sweet warble which can be confused with the Wren. However the Wren's song incorporates repeated trill sounds and the Dunnock's does not.

Identification difficulty

Inhabits any well-vegetated areas with scrub, brambles and hedges. Look in deciduous woodland, farmland edges, parks and gardens. Keeps largely on the ground and often close to cover.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

The Dunnock feeds on insects, spiders, worms and seeds. It is a host of the Common Cuckoo, even though there is no resemblance between the eggs, the Cuckoo eggs are accepted.

UK Status

Abundant throughout Britain

VC55 Status

Abundant throughout Leicestershire and Rutland as a breeding bird.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Dunnock, Hedge-sparrow, Hedge Sparrow, Hedge Accentor
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
04/06/1996 (John Thickitt)
Last record:
26/03/2024 (larrad, andy)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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