Prunellidae – Accentors

Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) by Ian

Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) by Ian

Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. (Proverbs 1:17 KJV)


CLASS – AVES, Order – PASSERIFORMES, Family – Prunellidae – Accentors


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Latest I.O.C. Version
Species (13)

Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) by Nikhil Devasar
Altai Accentor (Prunella himalayana) by Ian
Robin Accentor (Prunella rubeculoides) by Nikhil Devasar
Rufous-breasted Accentor (Prunella strophiata) ©WikiC
Siberian Accentor (Prunella montanella) ©WikiC
Brown Accentor (Prunella fulvescens) ©WikiC
Radde’s Accentor (Prunella ocularis) ©WikiC
Arabian Accentor (Prunella fagani) ©Drawing WikiC
Black-throated Accentor (Prunella atrogularis) ©WikiC
Kozlov’s Accentor (Prunella koslowi) OBC
Dunnock (Prunella modularis) by Ian
Japanese Accentor (Prunella rubida) ©WikiC
Maroon-backed Accentor (Prunella immaculata) ©WikiC
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On the photos or slides, a “by” indicates one of the photographers or videographers, who have given their permission, with links on our sidebar. Please visit their sight to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia. “†” indicates the bird is extinct. *LLABS* means it is on Our Life List of All Birds Seen.

Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:
Ian Montgomery’s Birdway
Nikhil Devasar’s Gallery
Nikhil Devasar’s Gallery-II


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Robin Accentor (Prunella rubeculoides) by Nikhil Devasar

Robin Accentor (Prunella rubeculoides) by Nikhil Devasar

The accentors are in the only bird family, Prunellidae, which is endemic to the Palearctic. This small group of closely related passerines are all in a single genus Prunella. All but the Dunnock and the Japanese Accentor are inhabitants of the mountainous regions of Europe and Asia; these two also occur in lowland areas, as does the Siberian Accentor in the far north of Siberia. This genus is not strongly migratory, but they will leave the coldest parts of their range in winter, and make altitudinal movements.

These are small, fairly drab species superficially similar, but unrelated to, sparrows; they are generally regarded as being related to the thrushes or the warblers.

Most of the species live together in flocks. The dunnock is an exception since it prefers to be solitary except when feeding. The dunnock also earned a nickname of “shuffle-wing” since it most strongly displays the characteristic wing flicks used during courtship and other displays.

Accentors may have two to three broods a year. Courtship consists of a great deal of song from the males, which may include short lark-like song flights to attract a mate. In most species, the male and female share in the nest making, with the dunnocks again being an exception – their males have no part in nest building or incubation. They build neat cup nests and lay about 4 unspotted green or blue eggs. The eggs are incubated for around 12 days. The young are fed by both parents and take an additional 12 days or so to fledge.

Their typical habitat is mountainous regions in an area far above the tree-line, but below the snow-line. The Himalayan accentor can be found as high as 17,000 ft above sea level when breeding, however, most accentors breed in scrub vegetation at lower levels. Most species migrate downwards to spend the winter, with only some being hardy enough to remain. Accentors spend the majority of their time in the undergrowth and even when flushed, stay low to the ground until reaching cover. (Wikipedia)

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