Skip to content

Meet the Model -Doug the Dunnock


D23581F2-3272-4C1F-8146-F497DF871DC2Prunella modularis

Length          14 cm
Wingspan    20 cm
Weight.         25 g
Population   2,000,000 pairs

Dunnocks are native to the UK and large areas of Europe with their range spreading as far as Lebanon, northern Iran, and the Caucasus. The ground feeding dunnock’s favoured habitats include woodlands, shrubs, gardens, and hedgerows. The dunnock looks from a distance similar to a house sparrow but the easiest way to tell them apart is the bill.  A dunnock’s bill is thin and pointy, while a sparrow’s is much broader and powerful looking. Sparrows also live in flocks, while dunnocks are rarely seen in more than pairs.
B3C0A181-D7BA-4B4F-B7CE-D575E8E82C2BThe dunnock, a quiet and plain sparrow sized bird measures 13–15 cm in length. It’s also known as the hedge sparrow but it’s not actually a member of the sparrow family , but is instead a member of the family of birds called accentors. It possesses a streaked back, resembling a small house sparrow with a distinctive pattern around the eye. The dunnock has a drab appearance which may have evolved to avoid predation. It is brownish underneath, and has a fine pointed bill. Adults have a grey head, and both sexes are similarly coloured.

Dunnocks are territorial and the male bird may engage in conflict with other male birds that encroach upon their territory. Female territorial ranges are almost always exclusive. However, sometimes, multiple males will co-operate to defend a single territory containing multiple females.

The dunnock possesses variable mating systems. Females are often polyandrous, breeding with two or more males at once, rare among birds. .Males provide parental care in proportion to their mating success, so two males and a female can commonly be seen provisioning nestlings at one nest.

6373BD71-49AD-45CF-A4A2-151A1A2C9B58The dunnock builds a neat nest of twigs and feathers , low in a bush or tree, where adults typically lay three to five unspotted blue eggs at a time. Dunnock’s can have two or three broods a season . Broods, depending on the population, can be raised by a lone female, multiple females with the part-time help of a male, multiple females with full-time help by a male.

A Cuckoo in the nest. Dunnock’s are one of the cuckoo’s favorite host’s. a female cuckoo will remove one of the dunnock’s eggs and then lay one of her own eggs. The cuckoo’s egg is completely different from the dunnock’s egg but is still not rejected.

The dunnock can be found mostly on the ground , feeding on a diet of spiders , ants , worms , insects during the summer with seeds and berries during autumn and winter.

Conservation status.

Classified as Amber in the UK under birds of conservation concern . as with most wildlife in the uk the dunnock is protected under the wildlife and countryside act , 1981.



Our resident hedgehog was once again up and looking for food. Just shows the importance of leaving out supplemental food and clean water. Our little friends need all the help they can get.

The balance between technical and creative

The balance between technical and creative by Bob Brind-Surch Those of you who know me or have been on any of my workshops will have heard me talk about how I feel that my photography is moving on from simply being technical craft to something more. When I started in photography I was happy to […]


Meadow date 20th Jan 2021 Today was my first visit to the meadow for some time . The foundations for the hide are now finished , so today was a chance to review access to the site . So now all I need to do is arrange to transport the hide to site. New visitors […]

2 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

All images © Wild by Photographic Solutions 2018


%d bloggers like this: