The largest of the forest hawks and is considered to be “rare to uncommon” over most of its range. It is the least size dimorphic of the accipiters and the smallest male goshawk, in juvenile plumage, can be difficult to distinguish from a large female Coopers hawk. However, in adult plumage, the “grey ghost” is uniformly grey on the back, with a dark grey to black grey cap on its head, a white, pronounced eyebrow over the eye, and distinguished feathery pin-striping of grey-black on pale grey/white on the front. The undertail coverts are white, often quite fluffy, and the tail itself is dark grey above with inconspicuous broad, dark bands; the tail often has a thin white terminal tip. Like other accipiters, the eye color changes from yellow in immatures to orange or red in the adult birds. This aggressive bird is capable of taking a wide range of prey – crashing straight into and through brush on a chase. It has a well-earned reputation of defending the nest from all intruders, including humans. The short, rounded wings and long rudder-like tail of this bird, like the other accipiters, are well designed for quick maneuvering through its forest habitat.