Hot Hawk / by Walter Kitundu

95 degrees in the shade, well if there was any shade. Man it was hot, and what on earth is a young Redtail doing in the middle of all this? I've never seen one out here before, a few miles south of Mercey Hot Springs.

Is it injured? Is it sick? It sure is keeping a close eye on the skies.

What is that bloody mark on its head above, and in front of, the eye? Weird. Wow, it is hot as blazes. I should just get back into my car and leave.

I've been spotted. Oh, that looks like a little string of meat not an injury. Still, this bird is acting weird, rolling its neck around and looking dazed in the heat.

Oh good, it is taking off. So it's healthy enough for flight then. Perhaps it will find some shade in the nearby gully.

Oh! I get it now. That dazed look was a food coma. And those shifty skyward glances and raised hackles were in defense of your meal, off of which you have meticulously stripped little strings of flesh in this blazing heat. You've only been out of the nest for a couple of months at most, so this might be your first snake... I see you are finally flying toward the gully like a hawk with good sense to go with your predatory prowess. Good luck to you.