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.




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


Dunnocks can be spotted in most areas across the UK


Woodlands and gardens


Insects and seeds

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.




Food we recommend


peckish complete  


Nest boxes we recommend


Due to the fact that dunnocks like to sleep and nest close to the ground, they don't often use nest boxes. They may, however, use an open fronted nest box if it is not too high.