A resident, passing migrant and winter visitor to Cyprus and the Akamas. It is quite a common species, especially in the winter when it becomes gregarious, while in the spring and summer it’s found mainly in pairs.
It is observed in a wide variety of habitats, mainly in open areas with plenty of trees and shrubs and in sparsely wooded areas. Quite often it can also be observed in villages or cities (parks, gardens with trees, etc.). It nests on trees and feeds mainly on seeds on the ground or on low herbaceous plants (often on the flowers of thistles).
It is a small “finch” species, with characteristic coloring and does not show sexual dimorphism (the two sexes do not stand out in appearance). It has a distinctive bright red ‘face’, small black mask around the eye, black crown and nape, intermittent by a white collar, brownish back, black wings with white spots and distinctive yellow stripes, which are very obvious in flight. It has a white rump (also visible in flight), a black tail while the lower body is white with brown sides.