The Last Golden Eagle #Haibun

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.

54 thoughts on “The Last Golden Eagle #Haibun

Add yours

  1. 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.

    1. 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 ☹️

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 🙂

  7. Such a marvelous and sad story, Ingrid. We now have several nesting in the large park near me.

  8. 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. 😢

  9. 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.

    1. 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!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: