It breeds in wet coniferous woodland. Four to six eggs are laid in a nest in a bush or on the ground. Its natural food consists of seeds, and when feeding young, insects.
This bird is similar in size to a reed bunting. It has white underparts with reddish flank, pink legs and a pink lower mandible. The summer male has a black head with a white throat and supercilium and a reddish breast band.
The female has a heavily streaked brown back and brown face with a whitish supercilium. She resembles a female reed bunting, but has the reddish flank streaks, a chestnut nape and a pink, not grey, lower mandible.
The call is a distinctive zit, and the song is a melancholic delee-deloo-delee.
- OBC 11 photographs (see pulldown menu at page bottom)
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