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Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-01-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/160 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-01-17 6:49
Viewed: 2239
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I made this photo of a Dunnock in my garden. The grass is covered with snow these days. That is what you see in the background. There is a pair of Dunnocks whole year round in my garden, but I could not made a good photo of them, until now.

The Dunnock (Prunella modularis) is a small passerine bird found throughout temperate Europe and into Asia. It is by far the most widespread member of the accentor family, which otherwise consists of mountain species. It is sometimes called the Hedge Accentor, Hedge Sparrow or Hedge Warbler. The name "dunnock" comes from the Ancient British *dunnākos, meaning "little brown one".

It is a resident in the milder west and south of its range, but as an insectivore, must migrate south from the colder parts of its range. It is a bird of woodland, shrub and gardens. It builds a neat nest low in a bush or conifer, laying 3-5 unspotted blue eggs.
This is a Robin-sized bird, 13.5–14 cm in length, fairly drab in appearance, and somewhat resembling a small House Sparrow with its streaked back and general shape. It is also brownish underneath, and has a fine pointed bill. Adults have a grey head. The sexes are similarly coloured.

This species makes up for its drab appearance with its breeding behaviour. Females are often polyandrous, breeding with two males at once, and thus giving rise to sperm competition. Males compete for mating access to the female, but DNA fingerprinting has shown that chicks within broods often have different fathers, depending on their success at monopolising access to the fertile female. 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. Males provide parental care in proportion to their mating success, so it is not uncommon to see two males and a female provisioning nestlings at one nest. Polyandry is rare in birds, with only about 2% of species showing such a mating system; the majority are monogamous, where one male and one female breed together.

The main call is a shrill, persistent "tseep" and a high trilling note, which often betray the bird's otherwise inconspicuous presence. The song is rapid, thin and tinkling, a sweet warble which can be confused with the Wren but is shorter and weaker. The Wren's song incorporates repeated trill sounds but the Dunnock's does not. While the Dunnock's bubbling song is very pleasant, it has been described as being similar to a squeaky trolley wheel.

Source: Wikipedia

CeltickRanger, samiran88, maaciejka, Marco2010, McQueenca, goatman04 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter

The pose of the Dunnock and his look are very beautiful,
excellent close-up shot with fine POV, great focus,
sharpness, and details, against the clear background
the photo is more beautiful, TFS


Hello Peter
This Dunnock is a unknown species for me.
your picture is very well composed and taken superbly with good sharpness and colour.
you are lucky that this nice small bird is a permanent resident of your garden.
best wishes,

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2013-01-17 7:19]

Hallo Peter,
Looks very cute ..
A very good capture of this Dunnock. Beautiful light, excellent detail and exposure
Best wishes,

Hello Peter,
Another excellent capture with great details and clarity,lovely composition with a nice pose.
TFS and my regards,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2013-01-17 7:35]

Hello Peter,
With excellent white balance against the snow this is a great capture of the Dunnock. The pose is superb and taken from a great POV with top sharpness and natural colours in a pleasing composition. Nice eye contact too.
Thanks and best regards,

hallo Peter
super shot met een leuke witte achtergrond
komt er nu zo lekker mooi uit op de foto
goed van scherpte en super kleuren
groet lou

Hi Peter,
very good photo of this bird. Nice composition.
Very good point of view.
Have a nice evening,

Hi Peter,
Thanks for sharing such beautiful spices.Nice color,prominent clarity and POV made it brilliant.
Kind regards,

Ciao Peter.
Splendida immagine di questo uccellino,fotografato con un’ottima nitidezza ed eccellenti dettagli,ottimi colori naturali,molto bella bravo mi piace.
Ciao Marco.
Grazie della condivisione.

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely bird in nice pose, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful natural colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-01-17 13:50]

Hi Peter,magnificent specie,great point of view and the best quality of details and colors despite the difficult backlight,very well done!Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

Hi Peter
Super image. Lots of the small birds seem to brave the cold and stay through out the winter. I know in Canada the Sparrows and Chickadee stay.
You have captured super detail from a good POV and composed it very nicely.
Thanks for sharing
Best regards

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-01-17 18:57]

Hello Peter,
Outstanding photo of this cute little Dunnock. You have photographed it perfectly, showing super fine detail and beautiful earth toned colors. The snow made a wonderful clean and bright BG.

Impressive photo Peter! Nice pose, excellent composition, wonderful lighting and very good sharpness!

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-01-17 23:10]

Hello Peter
excellent sharpnes of this little cute bird. i like it simple composition of the bird and a small branch.
exciting view of its happy mood.


  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2013-01-18 7:27]

Hello Peter
Excellent closed up , despite that hard backlight you got a very interesting capture.The image is razor sharp with excellent plumage details.The pose is also outstanding so is the text.Maybe I would have try to put a little more light on the subject face but that is only my opinion and it is still a beautiful capture.
TFS Michel

Hello Peter,
An excellent capture with beautiful coloration, details & pose. Very nicely done & presented. Great work & TFS. Best wishes!


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2013-01-18 8:56]

Hello Peter,
this is a wonderful portrait of this beautiful bird. The colours, details, clarity and DOF are really good. Well done.Regards Siggi

Hello Peter
Superb pose with good eye contact.
Excellent light and detail.
A fine photo.
regards yiannis

Natural capture, nice bird!
have a nice WE

Hi Peter,
a great shot of this little shy bird - often not easy even to see!
well done

wow, simply beautiful shot, congrats Peter for the picture !

excellent focus and details !

ciao, tino

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