Ernesto touched down in the upper branches of the scrub mesquite with a dejected sigh. As much as he might wish otherwise, his worst fears appeared to be true. Ramon and Maria had made good on their threat to leave him behind in search of better hunting grounds. They were gone.
While he was forced to admit it was becoming increasingly difficult for a self-respecting raptor to keep his stomach from rubbing his backbone in these parts, this was still his home and here he would remain. While he would miss their companionship, sometimes the lure of home trumped camaraderie.