Body length: 23-25 cm
Body mass: 10-15 g
Male: black upperparts with dark rump, white breast and belly, black head with small twin white spots above bill and white of underparts extending part-way round neck. Black wings with extensive white patches (though full black-and-white effect only achieved by specimens several years old, as younger specimens resemble females).
Female: grey-brown upperparts, beige breast, white belly, dark wings with limited white wing-patches.
Common across Poland. Lives in forests, gardens and parks, where it readily accepts nestboxes. Oldest and strongest males return from Africa in mid-April, locating and defending nest-holes that later-arriving females then inspect, before choosing best-available mate on this basis. This so-called resource-defence polygyny allows ”supermales” to have three females. Birds mainly feed on insects.
Species resembles collared flycatcher, with which it hybridises, though only producing infertile offspring in this way.
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.