A very little-known species in terms of its biology, the Yellow-eared Woodpecker is confined to the Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil, where it occurs in both secondary and primary forest areas in the lowlands and foothills, and is found from Bahia south to Rio de Janeiro state. Barred below and over the face, with olive-green upperparts marked with pale yellow spots and bars, and a distinctive yellow nape patch, the male has a red crown, which is replaced by black in the female. The species seems to be rather uncommon, but is certainly not rare, and its apparent tolerance of slightly degraded habitats should enable its conservation. It seems to join mixed-species feeding flocks, like other Veniliornis. However, almost nothing has been published concerning its breeding behavior.