Body length: 12-14 cm
Body mass: 15-18 g
Adults: pale-brown back, bright-red patch surrounding bill and extending to eyes, black crown, and black wings with broad yellow bar
Juveniles: pale-brown back with dark streaks, again with yellow patch on black wings.
Occurs in forests, parks and gardens. Birds build ”masterly” new nests each year, in tall cypress trees or junipers, or in the crowns of horse-chestnuts. Lining of fur, hair and feathers, exterior usually lichen-covered. Two broods a year. Thistle seeds a favourite food. Long treated as a beloved cagebird, given its colourful plumage, cheerful demeanour and endearing song. Partially resident, though most Polish birds winter in the south and west of Europe.
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.