A small, slender hawk with a yellow bill base, yellow legs, and orange-yellow eyes. Adults are slaty-gray above with a rufous collar and a vinous breast that fades on the belly to light pink in the north Moluccas and to white in the south Moluccas. Immatures are brown and heavily streaked below. Does not soar; typically seen perched. Inhabits tall forest from sea level to foothills. Confined to the Moluccas. Rufous collar of adult separates it from adult Chinese Sparrowhawk, Moluccan Goshawk, and central Moluccan Variable Goshawks. Smaller than Moluccan, Meyer’s, and north Moluccan Variable Goshawks. Paler-bellied than Moluccan and Variable Goshawks. Immature Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk is streaked underneath, without bars, unlike immatures of Moluccan and Variable Goshawks and Chinese Sparrowhawk. Immature Meyer’s Goshawk is similar, but Rufous-necked is smaller-bodied and smaller-billed. Underwings not white with black tips, unlike Chinese Sparrowhawk. Gives a shrill “ki-ki-ki-ki…” series.