A small woodpecker with a green back, barred underparts, and a finely speckled face without strong markings. The crown is red in males and black in females. Inconspicuous in lowland rainforest, including in edge habitat and clearings. The call is an arresting “ka-reek,” sometimes repeated several times. Very similar to Green-backed Woodpecker, though there is only a small area of range overlap. Distinguished by subtle details, including the all-black rather than olive-and-black tail. Female further distinguished by the all-black rather than red-and-black crown.