Dunnock, Prunella modularis is a species of accentor in the Prunellidae family. It is mostly found in Europe and parts of the Middle East. It was introduced to New Zealand.
Hedge Sparrow, Dunnock Accentor, European Dunnock, Hedge Accentor, Hedgesparrow, Hedge-Sparrow.
It is a slim, streaked bird that feeds unobtrusively on the ground; flitting up to a perch, to utter its quiet, repeated single note. Rather shy and retiring in summer. Flight jerky, light and springy.
Its nest made of grass and moss, lined with finer fibre, placed in a hedge or bush.
Males are promiscuous and will mate with several females, unaware that the females are acting in a similar fashion, mating with a number of males.
Males try to ensure their paternity during courtship by pecking at the cloaca of the female to stimulate her to eject the sperm of other males with whom the female has recently mated. Dunnocks take just one-tenth of a second to copulate, and have sex more than 100 times a day. This was shown in an episode of The Life of Birds.