Sunday, 23 August 2009

Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

OTHER NAMES: Hedge Sparrow, Hedge Accentor
Latin Etymology: Prunella (derived from German species name) modularis ("melody")
Adult Dunnock (subspecies P. m. occidentalis) at Trevose Head, Cornwall - April 2015

Featured Subspecies: Prunella modularis occidentalis
Weight: 16-25g  /  Length: 14.5cm  /  Wingspan: 19-21cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The dunnock is the only member of the widespread accentor family present in the UK, and despite being a common garden bird, it is frequently overlooked by people not familiar with it. This is largely because, as a small brown bird, it looks like a sparrow - and in fact an alternative, if inaccurate name for it is the "hedge sparrow".  However, on closer inspection, they are quite different - notably the grey head and fine pointed beak - it also tends to scurry along the floor and low shrubs rather that feeding among the branches. With photographing it, the main problem I've had is actually getting one in a position where it shows up well enough against the background to make it clearly visible in the end photo - being on the ground so much doesn't necessarily get the best lighting.

Related Species: 
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Prunellidae
Genus: Prunella
Subspecies: P. m. hebridium, P. m. occidentalis, P. m. modularis, P. m. mabbotti, P. m. meinertzhageni, P. m. fuscata, P. m. euxina, P. m. obscura 

- Sighting Locations - Common breeding species (2,500,000 territories)
 - Birds seen at a large number of sites including Rutland WaterTrevose Head and Geddington. 

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