Survival Tale

In 1978, US law declared the bald eagle a protected species and the results have been phenomenal. Between 1963 and 2006, the number of nesting pairs increased from 417 to 9,000. These magnificent birds live from twenty to thirty years and tend to mate for life. Their nests can be from seven to ten feet wide, ten feet deep, and weigh as much as two tons.

Winters are an important season for eagles. They must consume enough food and expend as little energy as possible to maintain their body heat. January brings scores of eagles to Iowa for winter nesting. When our children were young, if the weather was good, we’d take a January Saturday and travel to the quad cities area. We’d drive along the Mississippi in hopes of spying eagles soaring above their nesting areas. Bird watchers were indeed fortunate if they could spy an eagle through their binoculars, legs extended with talons ready to land upon a winter bared tree.

snow drifts impede path
human footsteps nowhere seen –
eagle’s glory reigns  

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Frank is hosting. He asks us to write a haibun that is somehow related to eagles. Factual information in the first paragraph of my haibun is gleaned from a pamphlet by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Haibun: two to three paragraphs of prose followed by a haiku. The haiku must be traditional in terms of including a seasonal reference.