Status and distribution Breeds throughout Iberia except on Mediterranean coast, southern France in the Massif Central and Alps, north in Germany along the Rhine and east into Austria. In Italy breeds in the Apennines and in northern Sicily and also breeds from Slovenia to Greece and east to Romania and Bulgaria and in the Carpathians in Slovakia and north & central Hungary. Breeds across much of Turkey to the Caucasus and southern Crimea, in the Middle East south to northern Israel. In North Africa breeds from central Morocco to north Tunisia.
Northern birds may be partially migratory but most are resident or altitudinal migrants. Rare winter visitor to Iraq.
Vagrants recorded north to Britain, Sweden, Poland and Germany, also Malta, Cyprus, Libya and Kuwait.
Subspecies Nominate cia is found over most of range with slightly larger and paler par in Crimea and Caucasus, more heavily streaked with buff rump. Various other races have been described but differences are very slight.
Habitat Dry rocky hillsides with sparse vegetation, sometimes vineyards and olive groves, juniper scrub and subalpine meadows. Often at fairly high altitude and reaches 4000m in parts of range, usually under 1500m in Europe.