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.

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map