This species of falcon is 45–55 cm (18–22 in) long with females being larger. Its wingspan reaches up to 1.2 m.
This raptor has a dark, sooty brown plumage with broad, pointed wings and a large rounder tail. Strong whitish legs that are part-hidden by long, blackish "trousers". Has white eye-rings and cere. Older bird acquire a whitish forehead and throat.
Juveniles have paler feather margins with pale bluish eye rings and brown cere.
Often pirates prey from other raptors.
Found throughout Australia from inland to coastal south east areas where it migrates in the late summer. Mostly nomadic.
It is commonly found in plains, grasslands, foothills, wetland environs, and occasionally over towns.
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