This raptor is medium-sized with a black head and neck. The rest of ts body is also black except for brown and white stripes on its belly. It has a thin crest that is hidden when the bird is in flight. Found in lowlands during the breeding season, migrates to more open habitats during the rest of the year.
We saw this bird in Thattekad, Kerala. We were staying in a homestay and the owner of the house was supposed to take us on the bird walk. But as he was busy with other guests, his 60-something mother took us instead. She was the one who first spotted the Black Baza.
The Black Bazas mainly catch and eat flying insects in the air. However, they may also pick insects off leaves. They attempt to capture small birds by dashing into flocks and trying to grab one. These birds also join different species of birds to forage for food.
Outside of the breeding seasons, these birds can be quite social. It can usually be found in large flocks and roosting communities. It also participates in mixed-species foraging (mentioned above). They are more active at dusk and in overcast weather.