16-18″ (41-46 cm) Rather long wings and tail, latter rounded at tip. Bill and feet weak. Head , neck, and underparts creamy white to pale buff with blackish streak behind eye; above mostly blackish brown; tail with numerous narrow wavy dark bars (fainter at base) and broad subterminal band. In flight shows conspic. large whitish patch on base of outer primaries. Imm.: sim., but upperparts buffy with a profusion of blurred brown streaks; wings and tail as in ad.
Smaller and slighter than Crested Caracara with all pale head and underparts. Imm. can be confused with several imm. hawks, esp. Gray Hawk.
Occas. a rough, growling kraa-kraa-kraa or thin, hissing whistle.
A conspic. open country bird often seen perched in tops of trees or afoot along roads and river banks, which it patrols with great diligence. Scavenges carrion, almost any edible plant or animal matter, and often perches on backs of cattle to look for ticks. Flight is buoyant with even wing beats and occas. sweeping glides but no sustained soaring.
Status and habitat:
Common in open country with scattered trees, agricultural areas, ranchland, and along edges of larger rivers in forested zones.
Taken from A Guide To The Birds of Colombia by Steven L. Hilty and William L. Brown
The “Wow” factor is guaranteed and everyone will know why in Colombia the risk is wanting to stay.