Distinctive black and white woodpecker with two large white stripes on the face. Males have a yellow crown and no red plumage elements. Patterning varies across range, with varying amounts of black on the back and sides. Shy and retiring, found in old coniferous and mixed forests, especially with spruces and lots of dead trees. Often forages by stripping bark off trunks to find the invertebrates underneath. Gives a hard, yapping chip, as well as a rattled series.