/dun"euhk/, n. Brit.
[1425-75; late ME dunoke, donek. See DUN2, -OCK]

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also called  hedge sparrow  or  hedge accentor  

      a drab, skulking European songbird, a species of accentor belonging to the family Prunellidae.

      Moving with a jerky, shuffling gait, this abundant but unobtrusive little bird spends much of its time among shrubs and hedgerows but often forages on the ground for tiny soil arthropods (arthropod). Found over much of Europe, as well as Lebanon, Turkey, northern Iran, and the Caucasus, the dunnock usually lives in scrub, heathland, mixed woodland, and hedgerows; occasionally it lives on coastal cliffs and dunes.

      Dunnocks are noted for an exceptionally flexible mating and territorial system that reflects food density. They may be monogamous, polygamous, or polyandrous. Where food is plentiful, one male may overlap the territories of two or more females. When it is scarce, females have larger territories that overlap with two or more males.

      In spring the dunnock takes part in communal displays in which two or more birds hop around in vegetation or on the ground, flick their wings, and utter staccato calls. Females may solicit copulations from multiple males and receive sperm one or two times an hour during their 10-day mating period. The female crouches on the ground, fluffs her feathers, and raises her tail. The male pecks at her exposed cloaca, causing her to eject a droplet of sperm from any previous copulation. (Presumably this increases the probability of the egg's being fertilized by this latest suitor.)

      A well-concealed nest for three to six bluish eggs (egg) is built on the ground or occasionally several feet above it. Both sexes feed the naked, helpless young. Sometimes multiple males will cooperate to help raise a single brood.

Sy Montgomery

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dunnock — Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1) …   Wikipedia

  • Dunnock — Dun nock, n. [Cf. {Dun},a.] (Zo[ o]l.) The hedge sparrow or hedge accentor. [Local, Eng.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dunnock — ► NOUN ▪ a small songbird with a dark grey head and a reddish brown back. ORIGIN apparently from DUN(Cf. ↑dun) …   English terms dictionary

  • Dunnock — Mildred Dorothy Dunnock (* 25. Januar 1901 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA; † 5. Juli 1991 in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, USA) war eine US amerikanische Film und Theaterschauspielerin. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Kurzbiografie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • dunnock — Hedge Hedge, n. [OE. hegge, AS. hecg; akin to haga an inclosure, E. haw, AS. hege hedge, E. haybote, D. hegge, OHG. hegga, G. hecke. [root]12. See {Haw} a hedge.] A thicket of bushes, usually thorn bushes; especially, such a thicket planted as a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dunnock — paprastasis erškėtžvirblis statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Prunella modularis angl. dunnock vok. Heckenbraunelle, f rus. лесная завирушка, f pranc. accenteur mouchet, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – erškėtžvirbliai… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • dunnock — noun a small European and Asian passerine bird, Prunella modularis, the hedge sparrow …   Wiktionary

  • dunnock — n. small European woodland bird that resembles the sparrow in size and coloring …   English contemporary dictionary

  • dunnock — [ dʌnək] noun a small songbird with a dark grey head and a reddish brown back. [Prunella modularis.] Origin ME: appar. from dun1 + ock …   English new terms dictionary

  • dunnock — dun·nock …   English syllables

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