Dunnocks

Just out of interest, is a Dunnock in any way related to a Sparrow ?  - Its only since  feeding birds and paying more attention to them that I  have noticed the difference between the two -  I have a  Dunnock that feeds regularly under hedges and bushes and alone and its behaviour is completely different to a sparrows  - I just wondered if they were from the same family of birds as they look very similar ?

 

Tracy

  • HI,

    A dunnock is also known as a Hedge Sparrow, but is not related to the sparrow at all. They have a bill more like a robin

    Sarah

    I've learned that I still have a lot to learn...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bramble67/

  • Hello,

    They are fairly closely related, belonging to the same superfamily, but are in different families. The Dunnock is an accentor, and belongs to the family Prunellidae, while our House and Tree Sparrows are in the family Passeridae, or 'true sparrows'. Prunellidae and Passeridae both belong to the superfamily Passeroidea, along with the wagtails, pipits, finches and buntings (plus a dozen other families that don't have any UK representatives).

    ETA - sometimes things that look similar are related, sometimes they're not. Being brown and streaky is pretty good camouflage for birds that spend a lot of time among low vegetation, so has evolved independently in many different bird groups, from sparrows and Dunnocks to rails, ducks, herons and waders :)

    My blog: http://mazzaswildside.blogspot.co.uk/

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  • In reply to aiki:

    Thank You Sarah and Thank You Aiki

    I love sparrows for their character and also I love my nervous little Dunnock -  he seems to be picked upon by the  sparrows and by my Robin (Mr Bobbins)  - I have grown to be very protective of him - he always seems to be very nervous and I feel very  protective for him - is there anything I can feed him to make his life a little easier ?

    Tracy

     

  • In reply to fledgling:

    Hi Fledgling, not sure about what food specifically, I'm sure someone will give some good advice, but it's interesting about the sparrows, as I don't get sparrows but I have a very confident little dunnock who hops around on the patio eating whatever he likes, ignoring the squabbling robins and is quite unconcerned by larger blackbirds too. He is very endearing so I always look out for him, he's often the first to arrive whatever the time of day.

    DM

    Always happy to stop and stare...

  • In reply to Dough Mummy:

    Ditto! We have a few house sparrows in our front garden (they like the berberis hedge) but they never venture round the back; and over the past few days we have regularly seen a darling little dunnock who seems quite content to scoot around alongside the robins, blackbirds and starlings and doesn't seem at all afraid of them. Oddly, our resident bully robin - Silas - leaves the dunnock alone (I think he may be too busy chasing the tits at every given opportunity).

    The books always seem to show dunnocks as rather drab, boring looking birds - ours is rather pretty, with plumage far 'brighter' than the illustrations in my books - I had to double check this site to check it WAS a dunnock.

    Ours seems to have quite a taste for suet, which I just sprinkle on the ground.

    The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.  ~Author Unknown

     

  • In reply to Scarecrow:

    Scarecrow - how about a dunnock appreciation society! I think they need their very own fan club - say YAY for dunnocks!

    DM

    Always happy to stop and stare...

  • In reply to Dough Mummy:

    Dough Mummy said:

    Scarecrow - how about a dunnock appreciation society! I think they need their very own fan club - say YAY for dunnocks!

    DM

    YEAH! Please can I join? I love them to bits.

     

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Sparrow:

    Absolutely! :)

    Always happy to stop and stare...

  • In reply to Dough Mummy:

    Totally onboard with a Dunnock Fan Club! Yay from me!!!

    The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.  ~Author Unknown

     

  • In reply to Scarecrow:

    Yep, and me. Dunnocks seem to be underrated but I think they are a cracking little bird and so pretty.

    Feed The Birds....not the cats!!!!

    I know....my spelling's crap !!