At only 19-20 cm long this is a tiny raptor. Most often, the side of head is white all around the eye, more rarely with a dark stripe through the eye or with the grey cap reaching lower down. Rump is white, and in flight, the entire underside looks white.
Male has grey upperside while female has chestnut back, and immature is mostly like female.
Semi-desert, acacia savanna and open woodland.
Sits upright on exposed perches, often bobbing it’s head and pumping the tail up and down.
Prey consists primarily of large insects and small reptiles.
Monogamous. It uses nest chambers of Sociable weavers and or Red billed buffalo weavers.