The roadside hawk is a small bird of prey with rounded short wings, long legs and long tail. Their head and back parts are brown-grey. They have a mottled brown breast which is striped whitish. The tail is dark brown and has between 3 and 4 pale grey bands with a white tip. The roadside hawk is 31 to 41 cm long and weighs 250 to 300 g. Males are about 20% smaller than females, but otherwise the sexes are similar.
Roadside hawks build nests from medium to high heights in trees. Nests are compact platforms built with twigs, leaves and tree bark. They lay 2 whitish eggs which are incubated in 37 days.
Feeds mainly on amphibious, reptiles, small mammals and insects, but can sometimes hunt small birds and even fish.
Roadside hawks are found from northern Mexico to Argentina.
They live in open to semi-open areas, forest borders, roadsides and plantations.
Hunting and human factor are the main risk factor for the nests and adults.
IUCN Red List: Least concern.