Found in the Canada, United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
This medium-sized woodpecker measures about 250 mm (9.75 inches) in length and has a wingspan of about 380 mm (15 inches).
The upper plumage and wings are mostly black, with white or pale back and white spotting on the wings. The abdomen and throat vary from white to sooty brown (depending on subspecies). There is a white bar above and one below the eye. They have a black tail with white outer feathers.
Adult males can be identified by the red patch or two side-by-side patches on the back of the head; immature males have red or rarely orange-red on the crown.
Resembles the smaller Downy Woodpecker.