Fig 1
DESCRIPTION: Wingspan up to 20cm. Adult length up to 6 inches. What could be taken for as a drab LBJ turns out to be a smart little species if one takes time to look closer. The plumage is made up of a dark streaked light chestnut back, wings and flanks with the head and underparts of a wonderful blue grey colour that enhances the contrast with the aforementioned upper parts. The legs are pink, the bill thin and lead grey and the eye a bloody red. Females are slightly drabber than the males with juveniles lacking the grey of the head and chest and having more brownish streaking. BEHAVIOUR/CALL: A sexually deviant species with males and females having several partners on the go all at the same time. Very few are monogamous. The species itself is unobtrusive and usually found on the floor feeding away oblivious to all around it. Ants, beetles, grubs are the birds favourite food but it will take berries, seeds and peanut granules in harsher times. The song is similarly to that of the Wren but is less intense and has a quite melodious charm about it. The call is a harsh 'Tseep'. NEST/EGGS: Nests are cup shaped and built with mosses, twigs and grasses and lined with softer moss and fine hairs. It is located in dense scrub or thick hedgerows usually at about 3 - 5ft high and found as early as April. The eggs are a stunning glossy greenish-blue and are found in clutches of up to 5. Incubation takes around 14 days. Dunnock nests are prone to parasitization by Cuckoos. DISTRIBUTION: Common throughout the British Isles. HABITAT: A variety of areas where cover is available such as gardens, deciduous woodland edges, hedgerows, farmland, scrubby areas and parkland. PERIOD: All year round.