Body length: 13-14 cm
Body mass: 20-25 g
Appearance: steel-grey back contrasts with orange-brown underparts. Cheeks white, long eye-stripe black in colour.
Breeds across Poland. Able to descend trees with head down (unlike woodpeckers). Most often uses old hole of great spotted or black woodpecker to nest in, though predation reduced by maximal narrowing of entranceway using clay mixed with saliva. Nest lined with pine-bark fibres. Usually breeds just once a year. Willing user of bird-feeders, accommodating several sunflower seeds or peanuts under tongue, and hiding some in bark cracks as reserve food supply. A resident species.
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.