Dunnock (Prunella modularis)
Species: P. modularis
Binomial name: Prunella modularis
Common name: Dunnock, Hedge accentor, Hedge sparrow, Hedge warbler.
Prunella modularis is a small passerine, or perching, songbird, found throughout temperate Europe and into Asia. It has also been successfully introduced into New Zealand during the 19th century, and are now widely distributed around the country and some offshore islands. Its favourite habitats include woodlands, shrubs, gardens, and hedges. They feed mostly on insects but in winter they also feed on seeds.
They typically measures 14 cm in length, have a wingspan of 20 cm and both sexes weight about 21 g. They possess a streaked back, that somewhat resembling a small house sparrow. Like that sparrow species it has a drab appearance in order to avoid predation. It is brownish underneath and has a fine pointed bill. Adults have a grey head and both sexes are similarly coloured.
Females are often polyandrous, breeding with two or more males at once, which is quite rare among birds. Prunella modularis doesn't form breeding 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. They build a neat nest (predominantly from twigs and moss and lined with soft materials such as wool or feathers), low in a bush or conifer, where adults typically lay three to five unspotted blue eggs.
A soft line nest of Prunella modularis.
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