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Dunnock

Prunella modularis

Donnóg

Hedge Sparrow, Hedge Accentor, Black Wren

One of Ireland's top-20 most widespread garden birds.

Status: Common resident throughout Ireland.

Conservation Concern: Green-listed in Ireland. The European population is regarded as Secure.

Identification: Roughly Robin-sized, the Dunnock is a sturdy dark brown bird, with bold black streaking and a bluish-grey head and neck, a thin pointed bill and orange-brown legs. Fairly common in gardens, parks, woodland and farmland, though usuaully only seen singly or in pairs. Tends to remain low in vegetation or creeps along the ground close to or under hedges.

Similar Species: Wren, House Sparrow

Call: A rapid jumble of notes given in one burst - the metallic grating quality has been likened to a squeaky wheel. Call a harsh, rasping "tcheh".

Diet: Small insects and their lavae. Will take scarps from bird table, including fat.

Breeding: Breeds mainly in hedgerows, all over the country. Nest of moss and dead grass.

Wintering: Widespread.

Where to See: Widespread and common throughout Ireland.

Monitored by: Countryside Bird Survey & Garden Bird Survey. 

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