A noisy and gregarious woodpecker that inhabits most wooded habitats. It is a striking species with a bold yellow-and-black barred back, a red crown, and a gray face with staring yellow eye. In flight, note the bright red rump. No similar species occur in its range. Vocalizations include a squeaky "wick, wick, wick, wick…", a sputtering "du-du-du-du-du...", and a squeaky, sometimes drawn out, whinny.