A typical medium-sized brown-and-white buzzard that was only recognized as distinct in 2010. The underparts are whitish buff with heavily streaked underparts (lighter on the throat). Underwings display significant contrast, with pale primaries and secondaries standing out against black 'wrists' and rusty 'wingpits'. Juveniles are buffier and less heavily streaked. Uncommon resident endemic to Socotra, mostly between 150–800m, preferring ravines and cliffs; other buzzards are vagrants. Calls like other buzzards.