A resident, passing migrant and winter visitor in Cyprus and the Akamas. It is very common during the winter, where it is seen mainly in groups, often together with other species of the “finch” family, in a wide variety of habitats. When spring arrives and as it progresses towards summer, its populations decrease noticeably, where it is mainly limited to wooded areas where it breeds, while during this period it is mainly observed in pairs.
It feeds mainly on seeds on the ground, while during the breeding season it also feeds a lot on various insects, with which it feeds its chicks. It has the size of a House Sparrow, with a thinner body and a longer tail. It has characteristic two white stripes on the wing, white sides of the tail and grey-greenish rump. It shows strong sexual dimorphism (the two sexes stand out in appearance).
The male has a rose-red breast, belly and sides of the head, grey-blue crown and nape, chestnut-red mantle and black wings and tail. The female has a grey-white breast and belly, light grey on the sides of the head while the crown, nape and mantle are dark grey.