Status and distribution Breeds throughout Iberia and France east to southern Denmark and Germany, Poland and western Ukraine, the Balkans and Greece and in western Turkey. Breeds over most of lowland Italy and on Sicily, Crete and other Greek islands and Cyprus with isolated populations in the northern Caucasus and in parts of North-West Africa.
Resident with limited post-breeding dispersal.
Vagrants recorded in Britain, Sweden and on Corsica. British records (22) are mainly in Kent and at Dungeness in particular and mostly Mar-May and Sep-Oct.
Subspecies Nominate brachydactyla occurs in southern Iberia, eastern France and Germany, Sicily and Crete, paler and more rufous than megarhynchus from most of the remainder of Europe. The other races are similar to nominate but North African mauretanicus is slightly darker above and buffer below and dorotheae from Cyprus has greyer upperparts and whitish-grey underparts. Turkish race harterti resembles megarhynchus but duller above.
Habitat Mainly lowland deciduous forest, large gardens and town parks. Also in mountain cedar and pine woodlands in Sn parts of range.