A medium-sized woodpecker of dense forests, often encountered only through its song, which sounds like maniacal descending laughter; also gives a loud, high-pitched grating chatter. Bright rufous overall, with black banding on the wings and tail, a paler brown head, and a long, bright yellow bill. Only the male has a red patch on the back of the head. May appear dark brown from a distance or when shaded, but often flashes bright orange when in flight. Drums infrequently, if at all.