A highly distinctive medium-sized raptor. Black overall with a thick white breast band and rusty-edged white stripes on the belly. Slender crest may be held vertically or at an angle when the bird is perched, but tends to be hidden during flight. If seen flying from above, note the “checkerboard” patterning on upperwings. Favors foothill and lowland forests when breeding, but can be found in more open habitats on passage and in wintering grounds. Quite social outside of the breeding season, often soaring in large flocks and roosting communally. Gives a squeaky, echoing whistle, often while in flight.