Rather drab but distinctive little bird: note slender, thrush-like bill (not stout, like superficially similar sparrows), blue-gray head sides, streaked back. Usually seen as singles or pairs, hopping on lawns or paths with distinctive shuffling gait. Found in a variety of open scrubby and wooded habitats, from low bleak heathland to parks, gardens, and farmland with hedges. Undistinguished, slightly tinny, rambling song has an even, warbled cadence; distinctive when learned. A Eurasian native, introduced to New Zealand and a few surrounding islands.