A migratory and breeding species in Cyprus and the Akamas. It arrives in spring (March – April) and departs in autumn (August – September).
It breeds in open areas, mainly scrub with scattered trees and in forested areas. Often the areas it prefers are adjacent to or close to agricultural areas (e.g. with cereal crops and mainly wheat), hence the origin of its Cypriot name, «Sitaropoulli».
It nests in low bushes close to the ground. It is usually seen sitting on the ground, on rocks, or on low bushes, but can often be seen singing higher up in trees or tall bushes. It feeds mainly on seeds on the ground and on insects usually during the period of rearing its chicks.
It is about the size of a House Sparrow, with a more elongated body and a longer tail. The male has a distinctive reddish-brown body with black streaks on its back, a distinctive greyish-blue head and breast, while its neck and ‘moustache’ are also reddish. The female is similar, less brightly colored, without the grey-blue head and breast, and its throat is more reddish-beige. At a very close distance the white eye ring can be seen.