Adults are usually 40 cm to 50 cm long. They are found in light and dark forms and a variety of intermediates. They typically have red-brown heads with narrow black streaks with a light crown and off white chin. Wings are a spotted red-brown with dark brown quills. Beaks are light blue/grey, eyes are brown. The falcons make a loud cackle call uttered frequently.
The Brown Falcon eats small mammals, including house mice and young rabbits. It also eats small birds, lizards, snakes and a variety of invertebrates particularly caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets and beetles. Insects form the bulk of the animals diet during winter and the falcons often chase the insects on the ground.