The Montagu’s harrier is a migratory bird of prey. Adult males are characterized by their overall pale grey plumage contrasting with black wingtips. Adult females have mostly pale yellow-brown underparts, the belly with longitudinal stripes and spotted wing coverts. The upperparts are uniform dark brown except for the white upper tail coverts (“rump”), and the sightly paler central wing coverts. The juvenile birds resemble the females, but their belly and underwing coverts are not spotted, but uniformly red-brown in color.