Small-headed, long-legged hawk of tropical lowlands, especially marshes, but also forest, woodland patches. Usually seen perched, at times clambering and flapping while using its double-jointed legs to grope around for prey in tree crevices. Adult has gimlet-red eyes and gray face (not yellow like most hawks), long reddish legs. Immature has orange eyes, white-grizzled face. Long tail has 2 broad white bands, obvious in flight. Wingbeats rather loose and floppy, and soars rather infrequently.