Animals, Birds

Scientific name: Prunella modularis

The dunnock is a small bird, about the size of a robin, which is common in gardens, parks, hedgerows, scrub and along woodland edges. Dunnocks are shy birds, hopping about in low vegetation and around the edge of lawns, feeding on small insects, worms and seeds. When two males meet, however, they become animated with territorial calling and wing-flicking. Males and females will form strong pairs but the female will still mate with another male, so neither male know who the father is and both supply her chicks with food. They nest in hedges or shrubs, laying up to five eggs.

England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
Specific name:
Prunella modularis

How to identify the Dunnock?

Streaky brown and grey bird with a dark grey head and a thin bill.

How can I help?

Recent declines in populations of dunnocks and other, once-common, birds can be attributed to increased development, changing agricultural practices and habitat loss.