Although practically the same size as the Black-rumped Flameback, this handsome Woodpecker looks slightly bigger and can be easily distinguished from that species by its crimson back and wings, longer and ivory colour beak, and the different call note.  This is a forest loving species, widely distributed almost throughout the forested parts of the island but prefers the wet zone and the mountains, which it ascends to the highest elevations.  The female has the crown black with round white spots.