Long-winged, northern raptor found in open areas like fields and marshes. Slightly smaller than Red-tailed Hawk with longer, narrower wings, smaller bill, and shaggy feathers on legs. Plumage variable; light morphs generally pale with dark belly and dark patches on "wrists." Dark morphs have brown or blackish body with finely banded tail and striking white flight feathers. Some birds intermediate. Hovers often, kestrel-like, flapping wings while looking down. Also perches at edges of tree branches and tops of trees, places Red-tailed Hawk is too heavy to perch. Breeds in far northern tundra and moves south irregularly to winter in northern U.S.