A resident, passing migrant and winter visitor to Cyprus and the Akamas. It’s a relatively common species, especially in the winter when it becomes gregarious, while in the summer it is less common and seen mainly in pairs. It is found more in open areas with bushes and scattered trees, but also in sparse forests, orchards and agricultural areas (mainly in vineyards).
It feeds mainly on seeds found on the ground or on low herbaceous plants, while during the breeding season it also feeds a lot on various insects, with which it feeds its chicks. It is smaller than the Chaffinch and more slender. It presents sexual dimorphism (the two sexes stand out visually), which is more pronounced during the breeding season (spring – summer).
The male has a brownish back without markings, a grey head with red on the forehead, a red breast with a whitish belly. The female has a more grey-brown back with sparse streaking, a grey-brown head, while the throat is greyish-white and the chest is brownish with vertical streaks.