Adult distinctive: glossy black overall with white belly, very long pointed red bill and reddish legs. Juvenile similar, but duller overall. Breeds in swampy coniferous and mixed forests, where rather shy; builds a bulky stick nest high in trees. In mountainous regions also nests on cliffs. Wintering and migrating birds can be found in grasslands, agricultural fields, and on the margins of lakes and rivers. Flies with neck and legs outstretched, and strong, deep wingbeats interspersed with glides; also soars on thermals.