Small woodpecker with a green back and a finely speckled face without strong markings. The crown is entirely red in males and red-and-black in females. There is striking geographical variation. In most of East Africa, the underparts are spotted, while in the western two-thirds of the range, the underparts are barred. Found in forest and lush woodland. Generally uncommon and inconspicuous. The call is an arresting “ka-reek,” sometimes repeated several times. Spotted birds are separated from other woodpeckers by their lack of strong facial markings. Barred birds very similar to Little Green Woodpecker, but distinguished by subtle details, including the olive-and-black rather than all-black tail.