Haibun for eagles

For the dverse prompt.

Eagles are rare birds and I’ve never seen one. Their habitat is mountain, wilderness, isolated bodies of water. Like so many of the inhabitants of the earth they have been elbowed out by our despoiling of nature, our greed and selfishness.
Those who refuse to make a next generation, who would rather die, fade into the dark than accommodate our leavings, are all eagles.

sky feathered air
only purity reflects
in those amber eyes

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

52 thoughts on “Haibun for eagles”

  1. Here the eagles have made a little comeback actually .. the habitat is of course still challenged, but the removal of PCB in toxic waste has made them more resilient, and now we can find eagles even quite close to the city where I live…

    1. You live in a country with a high proportion of wilderness and a small human population. You ought to have eagles. I doubt we’ll ever see them here unless agriculture reins back considerably.

  2. The ending to your haibun was like a poetic slap in the face. Something which we all need, I think. I have seen eagles in Spain once or twice, soaring at a great height, an impressive and sadly rare sight.

  3. The eagles exist at the whim of a species doing its best to destroy its habitat until none is left. Shame on us. We have bald eagles around here because of the lakes and rivers with big fish that the DNR stocks them with — for sports fishermen. Not because they have a right here but because of a hair-brained notion we have a right to treat nature as a carte blanche resource for our exploitation 😦 Great poem highlighting the plight, Kim.

    1. Thanks Lisa. We have the same attitude here, killing the animals that live on the ones we reserve the right to shoot. Everything living thing is ‘ours’. We decide which ones we’ll allow to exist and which we’re going to exterminate.

  4. I have also never seen them in real life. Ah but the stories bring them to life for me

    Happy Monday


  5. They are (very slowly) adding to their meager numbers up here on Vermont’s Canadian border, thank Goodness. Let’s hope that continues and spreads, eh? Better yet, let’s see what we can do to MAKE IT happen.

    Nice work, JD.

  6. I’m happy to say the eagles have made a good comeback in the US. I talk about it in my haibun.
    I most particularly love your haiku here, Jane. The use of the words “amber eyes” just drills right into me.

  7. From WA state here all the way to Alaska, we have the wilderness to support a large population of bald eagles. But nevertheless, I am always thrilled to see them. I think they mate for life.

  8. I feel stupid, but I don’t entirely get your point, Jane? Could you please explain what you mean by this:

    Those who refuse to make a next generation, who would rather die, fade into the dark than accommodate our leavings, are all eagles.

    Would eagles rather die than have offspring if they can’t live where they prefer?


    1. There are lots of animals and birds that won’t take another mate if their lifetime mate is killed, others refuse either to breed in captivity/urban surroundings or their broods/litters get smaller until they no longer have any progeny. It’s how species die out, not by them all falling off their perch at the same time, but by not accommodating to the change and gradually slipping away. When change happens too quickly (the kind of stunts we pull on the environment) there’s no time for adaptation.

  9. They’ve been successfully reintroduced into our area, and it’s now frequently one can be seen. They are magnificent! Like Ben, I am a bit confused by the lines he quoted.

    1. I wish we’d reintroduce all the species we’ve hounded almost to extinction. I’m pleased at least the bald eagle is recovering.
      I was referring to the animals that refuse to adapt to living in our urban environment and just quietly die out, having fewer and fewer young until there are no more to reproduce. It takes a long time for animal species to adapt to drastic change (that we bring about) and we don’t give them enough of it, so they just fade away. Not everything wants to live in our concrete mess.

    1. I think it would mean going somewhere really wild, and if I did that, I’d feel guilty at disturbing it. I’ll let the eagles (wherever they are) in peace, I think. Pictures will do for me 🙂

  10. Really like your perspective in this Jane! I am sorry you have never seen an eagle. They used to fish right next to me for many years when I’d be drift fishing the high Cascade Mountain lakes in Oregon. Magnificent creatures!

      1. If I had my way Jane I would live permanently deep in the Oregon Cascade Mountains and tell “civilization” to f*#$ off — but my health has kept me trapped near medical facilities.

      2. I know how you feel. When we were younger it was the constraint of work, then children’s schools now it’s the looming fear that one day we’ll get sick and there aren’t even any doctors around here…

  11. I’ve seen hawks and falcons flying free but never eagles, only once in a zoo, which doesn’t count. I can’t believe they were hunted to extinction in the UK, and glad that white-tailed eagles have been reintroduced in Scotland and on the Isle of Wight. Let’s hope they are well-protected from hunters. I love the phrase ‘sky feathered air’, Jane.

    1. Thanks 🙂 Wherever you have farmers and hunters you get persecution of anything ‘threatening’. They don’t need evidence, they just shoot. I’m pleased the numbers are being reestablished for some species.

  12. Eagles have made a come back in our area, and it’s exciting to see them fly (often in pairs), and I was thrilled to see one up close last September. But yes, I understand your point.
    I also love “sky feathered air.”

    1. I was reading about the Bald Eagle being brought back from the brink, mainly by stopping the shooting and poisoning with DDT. I suppose it would have been hard to explain that the national emblem had been hunted to death by patriots 🙂

    1. I suppose that’s the proof that we can if we want to. Stopping shooting and spreading DDT about worked for the Bald Eagle, and similar measures could work for so many. But we can’t let ALL the critters live, can we?

      1. You’re right about the DDT–since they banned it many bird species have recovered. But there’s always a new chemical to sell.

  13. They may be raptors/predators, but they have such a stately air about them that we would do well to emulate them. After all, we don’t stop at what we need to sustain our existence. We redefine it to fit our desires, and act to fulfill those desires.

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