A slim brown buzzard with a distinct white iris. Adults have a white throat with a prominent dark stripe, yellow base of the bill, and rufous tail. Dark tips to wing feathers are clearly visible in flight. Often shows a white patch on its nape. Juveniles have a buffy head and brown iris. The usual habitat is dry, open country or forest, where it mainly feed on insects, rodents, and small mammals. This species is most often seen soaring alone in thermals or perched still. Groups of two or three may sometimes be seen. The most commonly heard call is a plaintive mewing note or falling whistle.