Alpine Accentors

The Alpine Accentors (Prunella collaris) are small passerine birds that occur naturally in Europe and Asia.

Distribution / Range

They inhabit the mountains of southern temperate Europe and Asia at heights above 6,500 feet (~ 2000 meters); although some may wander as far as north as Great Britain.

They are mostly resident (non-migratory) but may move down to the lower latitudes for the winter.

Their natural habitats are bare mountain areas with some low vegetation.


The Alpine Accentor is measuring 15-17.5 cm in length. It is Robin-sized and slightly larger than its relative, the Dunnock.

It has a streaked brown back, somewhat resembling a House Sparrow, but adults have a grey head and red-brown spotting on the underparts. It has an insectivore’s fine pointed bill.

Males and females look alike, although the male may be contrasted in appearance.

Juveniles have browner heads and underparts.

Breeding / Nesting

Females usually mate with several males, often producing broods with mixed paternity. The males also mate with several females.

They build their nest low in a bush or rock crevice. The average clutch consists of 3 – 5 unspotted sky-blue eggs.

The males will feed chicks at several nest sites belonging to females they have mated with.

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