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Length 13-16 cm, weight 6-10 g
Very often will give the impression of a small fluffy circular ball with a long tail attached; more than half its length constitutes its 6-10 cm tail. Black and rosy-beige to greyish above and white below, with rosy-beige to greyish flanks. It has a white crown but different subspecies differs in amount of black in head. The different subspecies also differ in tail length, with northern populations having longer tails. The bill is very short.
Juvenile of all subspecies is darker and less glossy, with a broad dusky brown band through and behind the eye, and lacks rosy colours; right after fledging, the tail is also shorter.