The habitat of this small woodpecker is forests, more open woodland, and cultivation. Two or three white eggs are laid in a nest hole in a dead tree.
The red-rumped woodpecker is 16.5 cm long and weighs 28g. Adults are mainly golden-olive above with a few buff spots on the wings, and a red rump. Their buff-white underparts are finely barred with dark brown, and the tail is blackish brown. The bill is black.
Adult males have a red crown and yellow nape. In adult females, the crown is dark brown and the nape orange-brown.
Red-rumped woodpeckers mainly eat insects. The call of this bird is a repeated quee-quee-quee. Both sexes drum rapidly.