Small bird (about 16 cm or 6.5 in), similar to a sparrow. Males with black head, a white line on the neck and a white moustachial stripe. Brown back and tail with more or less dark brown spots. Lighter breast and belly. Less showy females, they replace the black colour of the head with brown and grey. Winter plumage also less showy in both sexes.
Wetlands and riverbanks with marsh vegetation, especially reeds, and farmlands, meadows and fallows adjoining these wetlands.
Wintering species in the province. It breeds from May in the north of Europe. Nest near the ground, between reeds adjacent to the wetlands. One laying of 3 to 7 eggs. Feeding based on seeds, incorporating insects in the breeding period.
Little abundant species, present especially in the final stretch of the Guadalhorce river and in some wetlands and river mouths between Marbella and Estepona.
This shy and elusive bird is difficult to watch, both because of its behaviour and because of the intricacy of the habitat that it normally uses. In addition, there are very few couples in the province.