Medium-large black-and-white woodpecker. Marginally smaller than Great Spotted Woodpecker, but rounded head and shortish beak exaggerate this size difference. Both sexes are similar, with a red crown (brighter in the male) and an incomplete cheek bar. It has a rattle call: "kíg-gag-gag-gag-gag" and gives a nasal long-drawn series of “gwaaag” calls. Rarely drums. Closely tied to old deciduous forests, often in areas with an abundance of oak or beech.