Fairly common in woodland, forest, parkland, and gardens with larger trees, especially oaks. Note stout black bill, thick black mustache, and black-and-white wing pattern with a patch of blue on the shoulder. White rump usually obvious in flight. Significant geographic variation across range: Middle Eastern and North African birds are white-faced; Siberian and Northeast Asian birds are dark-faced. Typically rather shy and difficult to see well, but sometimes feeds out on open ground; often seen flying across roads. Wide vocal repertoire: typical call a dry “scaaaaak,” as well as varied warbling and hooted notes.