A small brown eagle with a slighter head and weaker beak than in larger brown eagles. A short crest gives the head a distinct squared-off look. In flight its crucifix-ilke shape is distinctive: straight-edged wings and a long straight-edged tail are most often held closed. Also occurs in pale and intermediate morphs, but dark, chocolate-brown coloration is the most common. Movements are complex, but it is mostly an intra-African migrant, breeding in the south (August to March) and occurring year-round farther north. Inhabits woodland, savanna, and farmland, hunting a broad range of vertebrate and insect prey both from perches and on the wing.