A while ago Mal got in touch as  dunnocks had disappeared from his garden – where they had been for years.

This is what he said the –

He’s been in touch again to say he has now got one dunnock in his garden. He still doesn’t know why or where they disappeared to.

I replied to him –

Really pleased you have got a dunnock back. And thanks for letting us know.

Do you put any bird food out?    Bird food would certainly attract and help dunnocks and other birds as well.

I use Nature’s Feast High Energy Supreme.  It is about £20 for a large bag! but it feeds so many garden birds. It  is the only bird seed i put out in the ground feeder and in places on the lawn.  Dunnocks come to the ground feeder to get this seed.

I put out other bird food though. 

You must have a hedge and maybe some shrubs where they can ‘hide’ and shelter

I live on a farm and we had someone from Natural England advising us on which bird food mix would be good on the farm for wild birds.  Through the kitchen window we could see a lot of birds, but he did not recognise a dunnock!   Dunnocks really do test your identification skills and powers of observation.

It’s great that you are trying to bring dunnocks back into your garden.  

The dunnock seems to love leaf litter and undergrowth.  I mostly see dunnocks on the ground – I put a lot of bird food out in a caged feeder and have surrounded a shrub with a type of ‘fence’ so that larger birds cannot get in.

The dunnock has a very thin bill and can only eat small things.   The bird seed I put out is very small and come to get that

thanks for getting in touch and I’m really pleased.  When I look out of the window and see a Dunnock I’ll try and think what is attracting it to my garden.

But I must say I live in the countryside and get a few birds from woodland nearby.


  1. John & Susan Hall

    ilkley, yorkshire, 27/12/2010
    snowing, -2 degree c
    2 indivduals, feeding on fat and scraps with blackbird.
    robin not acceptable to black bird
    jay within 3m of patio door, driven off by black bird

  2. Nigel Pacey

    I have very small garden near Southampton and I feed Dunnocks and other birds through out the year on my home made suet cakes with extras. I put in seeds, peanut butter, Cranberries, ready brek, hedgerow berries when i can get them, dried fruit and my home produced meal worms which i freeze dry. its fasinating to watch the birds feeding. all goes down well

  3. Trish Post author

    That is really interesting. What a lot of time and care you take. It must be great to see the Dunnocks.

    when you make your home made suet cakes do you weigh the ingredients? I’d love to have a go at making them


  4. Nigel

    Hi Trisha, No I dont weigh anything, I use tin foil trays and three packets of suet plus other ingredients fill the trays. I have also started ginding down peanut bits and sunflower hearts because the birds waste alot and this way its a beak full with less waste. E mail me and i will explain fully.

  5. Vanessa

    if you are trying to get dunnocks back in your garden – I have found the “finch and sparrow mix” by very good at achieving good results. It is a farm in Devon which specialises in growing bird seed – From farm direct to your door. Great prices, great products.

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