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18.5 cm. Black upperparts, white barring on back, white spotting on wings, white rump, black tail with some white barring, underparts pale buff-olive, red central belly, black patch through eyes and on cheeks, yellow forehead,red nape, red crown in the male and black in the female.
Young birds are duller, have less white above and less red on the belly.
Higher levels of wet forests, semi-open woodland and old second growth.
It nests in an unlined hole 6-30 m high in a dead tree. 2-4 glossy white eggs are laid and incubated by both sexes.
The diet includes insects, fruit and nectar.
The call is a rattling krrrrrl; both sexes drum on territory.