A large, long-billed woodpecker with an olive back, a bold facial pattern, and heavily marked underparts. The crown is black in the female and yellow in the male, though this yellow patch can be difficult to see. Found in rainforest and secondary forest at low and middle elevations. Calls include a fast whinnying call, a sharp “kwip,” and a series of similar notes. Also gives a distinctive drum that lasts about 3 seconds, beginning fast and then slowing. Similar to Bearded and Fire-bellied Woodpeckers, but there is very little overlap in range; Golden-crowned can be separated from Bearded by the unbarred back and from Fire-bellied by the lack of a red belly. Males further distinguished by their yellow crown.