Medium-sized crested woodpecker with an olive-brown body and a black-and-white-striped head and neck; quite dull and dark for a flameback. Crest is bright red in males and black in females. Inhabits lowland and hill forests, where it forages both at middle levels and close to the ground, both singly and in pairs. Generally fairly uncommon and local. Gives cacophonous descending calls, often with a rasping quality.