Their plumage is mainly light chestnut brown with blackish spots on the upperside and buff with narrow blackish streaks on the underside; the remiges are also blackish. Unlike most raptors, they display sexual colour dimorphism with the male having less black spots and streaks, as well as a blue-grey cap and tail. The tail is brown with black bars in females, and has a black tip with a narrow white rim in both sexes.
It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America. Here we see it in the woods and crop lands.
In the bird reserve in Het Zwin.