The blackcap is about 14 centimetres long, dark grey above and light olive-grey below. The male has a distinctive black cap; the female and young birds have red-brown caps.
This migratory bird can be found in shady woodland with dense undergrowth, as well as in parks and gardens throughout Europe, except for the far north. Some birds from Central and Eastern Europe are now spending winters in gardens in Britain and Northern Europe, rather than heading south to the Mediterranean or Africa.
The blackcap’s song is powerful and melodious. It nests in low bushes and feeds on insects and berries.