Medium-sized raptor with a prominent white-tipped black crest that is usually erect. Shows conspicuous pale reddish barring on a white belly. Smaller size and narrower wing bases in flight separate it from hawk-eagles, and longer wings and completely feathered legs at rest separate it from Crested Goshawk and other accipiters. Sedentary across its range, occurring in wet tropical and subtropical forests across South and Southeast Asia. Tends to remain hidden in tropical forests, but can be relatively common in subtropical forests.