A mid-sized, green-backed woodpecker. Males have a red crown and moustache; females have a white-streaked black forecrown, a red hindcrown, and a white-spotted black moustache. Varies geographically; in most of the range, the underparts are plain buff with some fine speckling, but in the eastern part of the range, the underparts are white with bold spotting. Found in savanna habitats, including broadleaf Guinea savanna and dry thorn savanna. Usually in pairs, which give a series of “kreek” notes in a loud duet. Very similar to Nubian Woodpecker in the narrow zone where their ranges meet, but Fine-spotted is distinguished by having a less streaked face and less heavily marked underparts. Similar overall to Golden-backed Woodpecker, but has spotted rather than streaked underparts.