A beautiful large woodpecker (about the size of a Hairy Woodpecker), the male Black-backed is a striking bird with a glossy black head and back, a white malar (mustache) stripe, and a white belly with thin black barring. Top this off with a bright yellow cap and you get a very handsome bird.
The species can be very sedentary, chiseling away the bark on dead pines until the tree is swathed with large bare patches. This is exactly what the Forest Hills bird has been doing. When Paul discovered it, there were already bare patches on many trees in the cemetery, compelling many birders to wonder how long the woodpecker had already been in the area.