I’ve felt a special affinity with birds of prey since I was a teenager. I identified with them as solitary hill-loving creatures like me, who haunted the heights of my beloved Lake District. I saw many buzzards and kestrels, a mating pair of ospreys and even a peregrine falcon once, but never the Golden Eagle.
He was the last survivor of his line, a family of Golden Eagles who came to Haweswater from Scotland in the 1950s. His mate died in 2004, and every spring he would circle in a breathtaking display formation above the straits of Riggindale, hoping to attract a mate who tragically would never come.
I walked there several times hoping to see him, coming very close once, as a band of walkers told me I had just missed his display flight. I moved away from the area in 2009. Today I found out that this majestic and ill-fated bird made his last flight in 2015. I never did get to see him and I wonder if Golden Eagles will ever return to haunt these heights again.
alone for so long
fled now to the sky we face
springtime without you
Written for dVerse
Tonight, Frank is hosting, and has asked us to write a haibun about eagles:
Let’s write our haibun that references the Eagle, in whatever context I’ve mentioned, or that you conceive. For those new to haibun, the form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose—usually written in the present tense—that evoke an experience and are often non-fictional/autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image—that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated.
An evocative memorial to a great raptor. Don’t forget to add you link to Mister Linky, so that other dVerse readers can enjoy your haibun, too! 😉
Thank you Frank 😊 I have added my link…can you see it ok?
Got it! Thanks, Ingrid! 🙂
Lovely post Ingrid..
Thank you 😊
How very sad… I have seen golden eagles in Northern Sweden once or twice… at one time a long time ago we saw a golden eagle who killed a mountain grouse not more than a few hundred meters away… it was mighty. White tailed eagles are more easy to find since they live and mate in the archipelago outside Stockholm
I feel so sorry for the last golden eagle of the lake district, but I think there might still be hope.
That must have been an impressive sight!
They may be reintroduced to the Lake District, but this guy was certainly the last of his line ☹️
I loved this. We were once walking the dogs in the hills in central Spain when everything went strangely quiet. We looked up and there was a pair of golden eagles circling us. What an awesome sight!
I saw an eagle in Sierra Nevada but it was too high up to tell what type it was!
They are magnificent creatures aren’t they!
I love this beautiful feeling reading this gives me; I get wonder without attachment, wistfulness without grief . . .
Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome, Jaya – I’m sure he was a magnificent bird though the last of his line!
Ingrid, your haibun got to me. I ache for this regal creature that kept searching for his mate.
Yes, it’s a sad story 😢
Thanks Gillena! 😊
Oh Ingrid! I was in tears reading this. I will tell you why when I can write a response properly. Ths writing of yours scamazing. SO beautiful, and atmospheric. I LOVE the Lake District! I mss it so much. But ths s so beautiful.
I am pleased my words moved you. Thank you for your kind comment 🙏
Haibunilicious indeed, Ingrid. Thanks.
Thanks Ron 🦅
A very sad tale indeed. Your haiku is just beautiful with it. I really like how the haibun moved to your personal revelation and reflection — how you relate to birds of prey — to the tale of this one particular golden eagle. Well written indeed!
Thank you Lillian 🙏
So lovely and sad. Eagles mate for life. So the mate selection was probably slim. Your tale is so fetching, I’d like to see a short story about it, with the eagle as narrator.
Now that would be a good challenge! Thanks Glenn 😊
A very beautiful and sad piece Ingrid! Sorry you did not get to see him!
As am I, but I have been lucky enough to see eagles in the wild elsewhere.
Lovely Haibun, very sad story, Ingrid. <3 Bald eagles, once gone from most of the US due to DDT, are now found in every state except Hawaii. There are golden eagles in some states. Maybe your golden eagles will return to their former range. 🙂
This is a great success story and a cause for hope!
Such a marvelous and sad story, Ingrid. We now have several nesting in the large park near me.
What a blessing! I am sure you enjoy seeing them 😊
I’ve never seen an eagle, let alone a golden one! They are really so majestic, your haibun is a great tribute.
Thank you Jay 😊
So touching Ingrid. Birds are such amazing creatures and ye, they mate for life if they are lucky enough. Your story was beautiful and heartfelt 💕☺️
Thank you Christine 🙏
Deeply moving Ingrid. Heartbreaking! As I commented to Jane here, they were my companions for years as I fished the mountsin lakes of Oregon.
I’m sure that was a humbling experience! It was nice to dream of seeing him anyway 🦅
The thought of the golden eagle searching for, and never finding, a mate is a sad tale, so beautifully told by you.🦅 I have seen bald eagles up close, in Oregon. Watching them take flight is breathtaking. We came upon a deceased one while traveling down the Rogue River. Seeing the majestic bird’s lifeless body stretched in the water left us speechless and in tears. 😢
Oh how awful to make such a discovery! But wonderful that you got to see them alive in the wild 🦅
The only Golden Eagle I’ve ever seen was at the zoo, many years ago when I was a child. Do you remember Goldie at London Zoo? Living in the Lake District, you must have seen so many birds of prey, lucky you! I really enjoyed your haibun, Ingrid, it touched my heart.
I’ve never been to London Zoo, though I have been outside of it many times and seen the giraffes looking over the walls! I’ve seen golden eagles in Bird of Prey Centres though – if only they could have sent him one as a mate!
Wow; potent and poignant. 😢
Yes, I always felt sorry for that eagle!
To be so alone…heartbreaking. (k)
Yes, the poor creature! He had a lot of human fans though.
I just read a story about the last 2 white rhinos…mother and daughter. So sad.
They are majestic and will be felt when they go missing from the scene, Nice recall Ingrid!
Well done. Sadly, the acts of man so diminish the reserves of nature, the nature we so admire, that it leads to the loss of species such as this graceful eagle.
Unfortunately yes, but occasionally we can help the populations to recover as with the bald eagle in the US.
your haibun takes us on your quest to spot the ge and your haiku is a lament for this endangered species .. powerful and provoking write!
Thank you Kate 🙏
Thought-provoking piece, Ingrid, and the message is clear and powerful.