Dunnock Prunella modularis   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Prunellidae
BTO Codes: D., DUNNO EURING No: 10840
Number in Britain: 2.3 million Territories (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: AMBER
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: hebridium (R), occidentalis (R), modularis (W) recorded in Britain (of 8 subsp. in the world)
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Length: 14 cm Wingspan: 20 cm Weight: M/F: 21 g    
Scientific name from: Diminutive of L.: prunus=brown and L.: modulari=to sing
World Distribution: Europe & Near East
Habitat: Scrub, undergrowth, towns
Diet: Mostly insects, in winter also seeds, mostly near ground in cover
TitBit: This unobtrusive little brown bird doesn't form pairs (like most birds), but breeds in groups of up to three males and three females, with two males and a female being the most common.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: Scotland   Wales   England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 2.3 million Territories in 2009
    First Record: Recorded in Anglo-Saxon times [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1969-2007),
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: hebridium AMBER (Important Population), occidentalis AMBER (Recent Decline), modularis GREEN
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Villages
    Also common in: Scrub, Arable Farmland, Pasture Farmland, Towns
    And found in: Deciduous Wood
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 10.5 to 23 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(III), Bern(III), NERC (41)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Garden BirdWatch

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 19 x 15 mm Egg Weight: 2.1 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 324
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs 4.06 ± 0.75 (2 - 6) N = 3487
Incubation: 14- 15 days 14.10 ± 2.08 (10.5 - 18.5) N = 3485   by the: Female
Fledging: 12 - 15days 13.18 ± 1.70 (10 - 16) N = 3509 as: Altricial, downy
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 27 Apr (1 Apr - 15 Jun)
Number of Broods: 2(3)
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.473 ± 0.012       
Juvenile Survival: 0.347 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 11 years 3 months 7 days (set in 1962)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: B
Wing Length Adult: 69.9 ± 2.1 Range 67 - 73 mm, N =24215
Juvenile: 69.4 ± 2.0 66 - 72 mm, N =23776
Male: 70.7 ± 1.9 68 - 74 mm, N =6571
Female: 68.8 ± 1.9 66 - 72 mm, N =3114
Weight Adult: 21.17 ± 3.08 Range 18.60 - 24.00 g , N =19587
Juvenile: 20.54 ± 2.08 18.10 - 23.20 g , N =19030
Male: 20.86 ± 3.22 18.70 - 23.10 g , N =5345
Female: 20.88 ± 1.96 18.10 - 24.50 g , N =2513
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Hedge Accentor/Sparrow
Gaelic: Gealbhonn-gàraidh Welsh: Llwyd y Gwrych
Danish: Jernspurv Dutch: Heggemus
Finnish: Rautiainen French: Accenteur mouchet
German: Heckenbraunelle Hungarian: Erdei szürkebegy
Icelandic: Runnatítla Irish: Donnóg
Italian: Passera scropaiola Norwegian: Jernspurv
Polish: Pokrzywnica Portuguese: Ferreirinha-comum
Spanish: Acentor común Swedish: Järnsparv
Local Names: Scrubber, Shufflewing, Creepie

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Davies, N.B. 1992 Dunnock behaviour and social evolution Oxford University Press, Oxford [598.874 DAV]
   Davies, N.B. 1987 Studies of West Palearctic birds: Dunnock British Birds 80:604-624
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides