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The largest of the North American Woodpeckers. Body is mostly black with a red crest. Males crest starts from the forehead and has a red mustache. The females crest starts above the forehead and doesn't have the red mustache. \ Both have a black stripe across the eyes and from the side of the head (except for the female which starts at the bill) and down the neck to the throat. Bill is long and thick. The young are ready to fledge so the parents don't spend much time at the nest and feed them less often to get them to come out.
The tongue of these woodpeckers are about 6 inches long with barbed ends to fish out bugs in the holes they drill.