A small brown-and-white woodpecker with scattered pale bars and spots on the upperparts and dark-streaked white underparts. Male possess a red nape patch that is absent in females. Juvenile is drabber, with weaker barring and streaking. Singles or pairs can be found in any areas with trees, frequenting canopy and subcanopy in lowlands and mountains. Often accompanies mixed flocks. The only small woodpecker within its limited range. Barred upperparts also distinctive. Calls include a descending, metallic trill and soft, well-spaced “kip” notes. Also drums.
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