The Brambling Bird (male) in summer is a gorgeous bird, with a glossy blue-black head and mantle offset by a tangerine-orange breast and shoulder. In all plumages the wing is strongly patterned, black and orangey-buff or black with white bars in the summer male, plus a whitish belly neatly spotted with dark on the flanks, a forked blackish tail and a long white central stripe on the rump. In winter the bill is yellowish with a dusky tip, with the black head and mantle of the male frosted with pale and brownish fringes; the female has a paler, greyer head with some blackish markings on the crown and a double dark line on the nape, plus an orange band across the upper breast from shoulder to shoulder.
Brambling Bird is a Scandinavian breeder which winters throughout western Europe including Britain, with numbers fluctuating from year to year depending on food availability. In winter it is strongly tied to open woodland and woodland edge, churchyards, large parks and occasionally gardens, particularly where beech mast has fallen, as well as in farmland and fields with hedgerows and scattered trees. It breeds in northern birch forests and in open mixed and coniferous woods, often in upland areas.
The commonly heard call of Brambling Bird is a twangy, slightly explosive and sharply ascending nasal "dweee'ap", "chwa'ingt" or "thwaai'ip", given both in flight and when perched. It also has a crossbill-like "chup chup" or "chyk chyk" given in flight, harder, deeper and more nasal than that of the Chaffinch. The song is a simple monosyllabic note, a fairly low and drawn-out nasal buzz or wheeze, such as "nwhhaaeerrrr"or "zhwheeeehhh", lasting about 0.6-0.8 seconds and repeated persistently and monotonously, at regular intervals several seconds apart. It may also add a liquid buzzy note, shorter and lower than the song buzz, and a quicker higher-pitched version with a sparrow-like quality, given more excitedly. The anxiety note is a repeated short, high-pitched and penetrating "tzilt" or "zrriillt".