The most easily identified eagle of the region: the black, white and chestnut plumage, combined with the diagnostic wing shape and very short tail, render this bird unmistakable. The flight action is also diagnostic, with the long wings held slightly angled upwards, rarely flapping; it flies direct, canting from side to side. The black trailing egde to the wing is broad in the male and narrow in the female.
Juvenile and immature are uniform brown; may be distinguished from all other brown eagles by the flight action and very short tail. Sex of juveniles and immatures can be determined by the extent of brown on the trailing edge of the underwing, as in adult.
A loud bark, 'kow-wah'.