Field identification tips: A buoyant raptor often observed hovering over grasslands, the white tail and underparts with dark 'wrists' are distinctive. Dark shoulders and gray upperparts are visible on a perched bird. Immature E. leucurus has a rusty wash on the breast and head, with a dark eye that turns red as the bird matures.
Typical range: In North America, this species is a year-round resident in the lowlands of the pacific coast states of California, Oregon and Washington with additional populations in south Florida, southern Texas and south through Mexico and South America.
Habitat: E. leucurus is a bird of open grasslands where it hunts small mammals by hovering until it spots its prey, then seemingly floats to the ground to capture its meal.