The Rufous Crab-hawk is a distinctive raptor of coastal lowland swamps, river edges, wet savannas and mangroves. It is distributed along the east coast of South America, from eastern Venezuela to the easternmost Brazilian coastline. As its name implies, the Rufous Crab-Hawk has a highly diet, and feeds exclusively on crabs. Crabs are generally caught after a short flight or dive from a low perch and then taken back to the perch to be consumed. The Rufous Crab-Hawk is found in most coastal habitats in eastern South America, and is by far the most common raptor in mangroves within its range. The plumage is black above with bold rufous edging to most of the wing coverts, tertials and scapulars as well as the secondaries, and is rufous below with fine black barring.