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. They are 14 to 18 centimetres in length, and weigh between 25 and 35 grams. However, accentors have thin sharp bills, reflecting their diet of ground-dwelling insects in summer, augmented with seeds and berries in winter. They may also swallow grit and sand to help their stomach break up these seeds. 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.