British wildlife recordings

Prunella modularis : Dunnock - Prunellidae

  • Add a note
    Log in to add a note at the bottom of this page.
  • All notes
  • My notes
  • Hide notes
Please click to leave a note

The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »

Tags (top 25):
(No tags found for this item)
  • Type

    sound

  • Duration

    00:01:59

  • Shelf mark

    W1CDR0001463 BD20

  • Subjects

    Birds

  • Recording date

    1977/04/02

  • Recording locations

    Pinbury Park, Gloucestershire: OS Grid Reference(395500,204500)

  • Recordist

    Williams, Aubrey John

  • Species

    Dunnock, Prunella modularis

  • Description

    The song of the dunnock recorded at Pimbury Park, Gloucestershire. Although also called the hedge sparrow, the dunnock is the only British representative of the 'accentor' family. This common garden bird is the size of a house sparrow, with a thin pointed bill, rich brown upperparts that are streaked and a blue-grey head and breast. It is often seen creeping around on the ground feeding like a mouse. The dunnock breeds in a variety of different habitats, including gardens, scrub areas and farmland with hedges. Most food is collected from the ground where the dunnock feeds on a wide range of invertebrates, berries, seeds, and even grain. It is a bird with an unusual mating strategy - some males are proprietorial over two females, other females have two or more males, and in extreme cases, several males may even share several females. Nesting begins in March with the cup-shaped nest often being built from fine twigs, leaves, hair, and moss in a dense hedge, and two or three broods are raised most years. In Britain, the dunnock is very sedentary, rarely moving more than 1km throughout the year. The current population is estimated at 2,100,000 territories, and despite a fall in the 1970s and 1980s, the numbers are fortunately thought to have stabilised.

  • Metadata record:

    View full metadata for this item