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Bird Guide: Dunnock

Not to be confused with a House Sparrow, our Dunnock bird guide will help you learn the difference between these popular garden birds. Firstly, they have a thinner beak and orange legs. They’re also known for having quick, shuffling movements and flicking out their wings. They love seeds and insects, but are just as happy with kitchen scraps!

To find out more about other birds, take a look at our interactive bird guide.


BTO Facts

According to Garden BirdWatch data, which has been collected since 1995, Dunnocks are most frequently seen in gardens in March, in around 82% of gardens. Although the British population of Dunnocks has declined in recent times, their occurrence in gardens has remained stable since Garden BirdWatch began. Gardens provide the ideal habitat for Dunnocks to feed and breed in. 




Dunnocks are relatively plain looking with a grey underside and streaked brown and black back.



Can be spotted in most areas across the UK


Woodlands and gardens, they particularly like areas of undergrowth

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The Dunnock breeding season takes place between April and July. They typically lay two, possibly three broods per year and lay 4-5 bright blue eggs per brood. Nests are made of leaves, roots, twigs, hair and wool and will usually be hidden in thick bushes, hedges or small trees.



20 cm



Insects and seeds

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