Stocky and dark overall. Short tail, triangular wings, and long, pointed bill. Close look reveals beautiful plumage. In breeding season, shows purple and green iridescence on body with yellow bill. In winter, bold white spots cover the entire body. Native to Eurasia; introduced in many regions worldwide, where it is now abundant. Often in large flocks. Makes variety of squeaky vocalizations, including proficient mimicry of other species. Inhabits a wide range of open habitats, often in very close proximity to people. Visits feeders, and is often aggressive.
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