Blog promiscuity

Small, brown and sex-mad!

Now I’m not turning this blog into something akin to the tabloid papers or more salacious magazines to be found filling up the newsagents shelves, but earlier this week this somewhat unassuming and easy to overlook bird visited my feeding station.

It’s a Dunnock, or as it was more commonly called when I learned and earned my bird identification skills a while ago now, a Hedge Sparrow. Not the flashiest or prettiest of birds to sit in front of my camera it has to be said, but actually a pretty tricky one to photograph over the years as they are normally to be seen skulking away in the shrubbery and the flowerbeds, rarely venturing into the open and even then always seeming to go away from any nice areas that I’d set up for photography.

This shy and almost retiring behaviour is a bit of a sham though – they are probably the most promiscuous and sexually active of all your garden birds such is their drive to pass on their genes to the next generation. There’s a whole host of wonderful latin words for the various relationships that they form in this quest too – monogamy (a conventional male/female pair), polyandry (a female paired with more than one male), polygyny (a male paired with more than one female) and polygynandry (‘pairs’ with two males and two females). ┬áIf the News of The World were still in existence Dunnocks would have been right up their street!