This spectacular woodpecker is medium-sized with a rufous head, black-and-cream patterned body, and plain rufous wings. Sexes are similar, but males have a red mustache. Unlikely to be confused, although compare with the more common Ringed Woodpecker, which has a rufous (not cream-colored) back, a paler head, and black markings on the flight feathers. Also note Rufous-headed is a habitat specialist, most often found in stands of bamboo or cane, especially along large rivers. Rare and local, Rufous-headed is shy and usually requires specific effort to find.
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