The White-tailed Hawk is a stocky, long-winged, long-legged polymorphic hawk that feeds on small vertebrates and invertebrates, including snakes, lizards, young rabbits, rats and frogs. Adult birds are grey above and white below and on the rump, with faint pale grey or rufous barring.

The short tail is white with a narrow black band near the end that is conspicuous in flight.

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