Common in tropical lowlands of west Mexico, where it is endemic. Found in woodlands, coconut plantations, gardens, and semi-open areas with taller trees, including towns and villages. Often noisy and conspicuous; calls include a sneezy "cháco cháco." Golden wash to cheeks is inconspicuous, but big black eye patch is diagnostic among similar "ladder-backed" woodpeckers. Male has flame-red crown patch and female has pale grayish crown.