Belongs to: sparrows

Compare with: house sparrow

Dunnock Prunella modularis

Also known as: hedge sparrow, hedge accentor

BoCC Amber list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Tame ground-feeding garden and woodland bird

Habitat: gardens, rough scrub on waste ground, hedgerows

Widespread and common resident


Sparrow-like, but with thin bill and grey face; 14–15 cm

Usually seen crouched on ground searching for food: insects, spiders and worms, also seeds in winter

Song is a jingling warble 


Males are promiscuous, attempting to cuckold other males nearby

Nest is a well-concealed cup low in a tree or bush, lined with wool, hair or feathers

2 or 3 broods of 4–6 bright blue eggs April to May

© Owen Keen