A migratory and breeding bird of Cyprus and the Akamas peninsula. It arrives in spring (mid-February – April) and departs in autumn (end of August – September). It can be seen in a large variety of habitats during migration, but it breeds in open areas with scattered trees, sparse forests, agricultural areas with trees and bushes, old orchards (e.g. olive groves, carob groves, almond groves etc.), village and city parks etc.
It uses mainly tree hollows, but less frequently on walls and other human made constructions. It frequently forages on the ground, searching for food (usually big insects and worms), using its long bill. It flies with a characteristic irregular rhythm, with slight ups and downs, frequent wing flapping and short gliding, usually remaining close to the ground. It’s shape in flight is also very characteristic, with the relatively short and rounded wings.It’s a small-medium sized bird, with a unique coloration (pinkish-beige body from the middle and up, as well as the underparts, black and white alternating strips from the middle and backwards with a black tail) and a long (beige with black strips) crest that can be opened like a fan.