A relatively small, uniformly dark brown eagle with a contrasting bright-yellow bare patch between the eye and the bill. The underparts are speckled with small white spots. In flight, the wings have narrow black-and-white bands and the tail has thick black bands. Juvenile similar to adult, but with a pale, cream-colored head. Often seen perched in trees under the canopy, from where it watches for small prey. Calls delivered in a series of 4-5 short, chirp-like whistles.