The White-rumped Hawk is a very small Buteo of humid montane forest with two apparently disjunct populations: it is found in the Andes from Venezuela to south to Bolivia, and also in the forested regions of Paraguay, southwestern Brazil, Uruguay and northern Argentina. In the Andes it is most often seen in soaring flight low over the canopy of fairly broken forest . There are very few observations of active foraging and so there is very little information on its diet, though it is known to take reptiles, frogs, insects and rats. As indicated by its common name, the most distinguishing characteristic of the White-rumped Hawk is its obvious white rump and under tail coverts, which contrast strongly with its all black chest, head, wings and back. When seen from below, the white-checkered underwing coverts and fairly long banded tail are conspicuous.