Unusual woodpecker that lacks barring, spotting, and streaking. Males have a red cap, and both sexes show a red rump that is conspicuous in flight. Varies geographically; some populations show a red patch at the center of the belly and others a completely olive belly. Found in forest and dense woodland. Restricted to middle and high elevations across much of the range, though found down to sea level in South Africa. Call is a series of loud whinnies.