Sometimes one doesn’t know what one has until well after the observation.
As I took the picture, I noticed nothing other than a perched Red-tailed Hawk. When I looked at it on the camera, I noticed that the hawk was holding a stick, possibly for nest building. When I looked at it on the computer, I realized that the stick was a snake. I guessed a species, but when I asked Jakob Dulisse, an experienced local biologist, he eliminated my guess as to a species and opined, western garter snake (Thamnophis elegans). OK, not a stick.
A Red-tailed Hawk has captured a western garter snake,
and flies off with it.