Dark raptor that soars with a “V” or dihedral shape and rocks side-to-side in flight. Black overall with silver bars on flight feathers and white banded tail. Yellow feet and cere; small pale gray area in front of eyes. Sexes similar; immature similar to adult but lacking dark trailing edge to wings and with more finely banded banded gray and black tail.
Shape and flight style remarkably similar to Turkey Vulture. Plumage much like Common Black Hawk but wing shape is very different. Rarely seen perched. Found in a variety of habitats, including mountains, deserts, and mangroves.