Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle is one of the commoner large hawks in South American alpine steppe, mountains, grassy plains, and open woodland. It ranges in the Andes from northern Colombia south to the tip of Tierra del Fuego, and also is found in the pampas of Argentina north into the grassland ecosystems of southeast Brazil. Mammals account for almost 95% of its prey, which it searches for on the wing. The buzzard-eagle is particularly reliant on the introduced European Rabbit; in one study this animal alone accounted for 44% of its prey items and 82% of its biomass intake. The flight profile of adult Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle is highly distinctive: it has long wings that appear very tapered due to the broad wing bases (elongated secondaries) and short, wedge shaped tail. Though distinctive as an adult, the juvenile plumages can be quite variable and must be separated with care from young Variable Hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma).