This sparrow-sized, active mite is often heard before it is seen. Its spring call of peter, peter, peter is a clear whistle, audible at some distance.
Insects are a large part of its food, but it takes seed and nuts from a station quite readily, and is quick to scold if your feeder is empty. It also responds to "squeaking," the technique bird watchers use to attract many species.
Preferring wooded areas, it appears in small groups in winter. It nests in cavities and bird boxes, and being non-migratory, often uses these same shelters for winter roosts