The male of this small falcon is sooty gray with rufous-orange thighs and vent. The females are duller gray above, and their white underparts are well marked with dark chevrons. The combination of reddish-orange eye-ring, cere, and feet distinguishes them from all other falcons. These champion migrants breed in eastern Siberia and winter in southern Africa, often congregating in huge roosts on passage through India. They feed mainly on insects that they either catch on the wing or pick from the ground.