Small, active tit. Combination of large black bib, white wingbars, and broad white stripe on nape distinctive. Dazzling geographic variation: Himalayan and Chinese birds have a small, spiffy crest; north African birds have stained yellow cheeks; European and Siberian birds dullest overall, crestless and with buffy flanks. Fairly common to common in coniferous and mixed woodland, forest, parks, gardens; visits bird feeders. Associated with foothills and montane areas throughout much of its eastern range. Often joins mixed-species flocks in autumn and winter, moving quickly through the foliage. Compare with slightly larger and chunkier Marsh Tit and Willow Tit, which have bigger white cheek patches, drabber overall plumage, and different voices.