The white face with its bold, black moustachial stripes and ear coverts is diagnostic. Both sexes have very dark underparts finely barred with black and white.
Male has a red mid-crown. Female has a black crown and nape with the forehead speckled white. Juvenile male has a red crown and nape and a black forehead lightly speckled white.
Broad-leaved woodland, thornveld and riverine forests, especially in areas where there are tall, dead trees.
A loud, rapid 'wik-wik-wik-wik'; drums very loudly.