Body length: 23-25 cm
Body mass: 10-15 g
Male: black upperparts with grey rump, white underparts, black head with white spot above bill and white collar around neck, black wings with large white patches (full black-and-white effect only achieved by birds several years old, with younger specimens resembling females).
Female: grey-brown upperparts, beige breast, white belly, darker wings with white patches present, though more limited than in male.
A bird of S and NE Poland, hole- or more rarely nestbox-nesting in broadleaved forest, but also parks and gardens. Oldest and strongest males return from Africa around mid-April, females only a few days later, then checking out nest-holes males present to them for quality. Partner chosen on this ”best available” basis. Feeds mainly on insects. Resembles pied flycatcher, with which it may hybridise, though producing sterile offspring.
Descriptions drawing on content of Ptaki Polski (“Birds of Poland”) - a book authored by Andrzej G. Kruszewicz, and published by MULTICO Oficyna Wydawnicza Sp. z o.o.