Sometimes Words Aren’t Needed

Since Jim and Cindy are still on their sabbatical, please allow me to share about a recent encounter with our second Montgomery County, Ohio bonded-pair of Bald Eagles.


This morning had become a beautiful late summer morning by the time I arrived at Englewood MetroPark. The long streak of hot, humid weather had finally broken overnight and there was a slight hint of autumn in the air. The damp, shadowy grasses beneath the towering trees were aglow with the glimmer of the sunbeams that had struggled through the branches on their way earthward, golden rays that almost sang out praises as they pierced the darkness. It was one of those special mornings when you can taste the change of seasons in the air and you realize that you have grown tired of the heat and humidity. Dew-laden spider webs danced in the slight breeze, refracting the filtered sunlight like natural stained-glass windows. In fact, the beauty and serenity that bathed the landscape made the park almost cathedral-like as I paused to embrace its solitude. All was right with the world, or so it seemed.

High in the branches of a nearby tree a small drama was silently unfolding. There, side by side, sat two, young-adult Bald Eagles. Many have grown rather fond of this pair over the last month. We have watched them almost daily as they have become more and more a piece of the park, hunting its shallow waters and defending its boundaries from other passing eagles. They have become increasingly territorial as if they are planning to stay and make Englewood their home. We have begun to refer to the pair as Liberty and Belle and as we watch them this morning, Liberty seems sorrowful and downcast. He had flown to this tree alone but soon Belle was at his side. There is no chatter between them, only silence and understanding.


Liberty appears almost overcome with grief or concern. His head is bent low and Belle can find no words of encouragement and comfort. As a young, bonded pair of only 5 years of age, this is likely their first nesting season. Perhaps the promise of the changing season has caused the young male to ponder the magnitude of all that lies ahead. The hours of nest building, the demands of 35 days of incubation, the responsibility of rearing eaglets… maybe for this moment it is all just too much for him to shoulder.


Belle looks my way and as our eyes meet I see the expression on her face and read a message in her eyes. She somehow knows that the future events lie securely in the past. They were uniquely designed for this moment and equipped with all of the tools necessary for what lies ahead. Her confidence seems unwavering, her determination sure. But I also see a touch of bewilderment as she sits beside her forlorn mate. She is trusting that her presence alone is enough to buoy Liberty’s spirits.


As they sit together I almost feel as if I am intruding on a very private moment, but the story is too captivating for me to turn away. After what feels like a very long few minutes, Liberty’s mood begins to lighten. Slowly his head begins to rise. Maybe Belle’s quiet presence has soothed away his fears, maybe it is enough for him to realize that he is not in this alone. Maybe, just maybe, he realizes that together they can soar higher than he has ever imagined and overcome any obstacle that may arise. Belle refuses to look away. She want’s her mate to sense her devotion, to share her strength, to be upheld by her faith.


Slowly Belle inches to her right. I watch in amazement as she extends her right wing across Liberty’s chest as if to embrace him. He responds by turning his head and lifting his eyes, for the first time since my arrival, to gaze at his mate. The crisis has passed. Both eagles appear proud and strong once more.

I openly admit that I have added my own interpretation to what I saw transpiring in that treetop this morning. But it was a blessing to have seen it and to have witnessed my first eagle hug. Bald Eagles are monogamous and that pair-bonding in birds can run deep. As a teenager I watched helplessly as a Mourning Dove starved herself to death next to the spot where her mate had died after being hit by a car, even though I had removed her mate’s body after finding her standing next to it for over a day. Two days later I found her lying in the same spot. Many animals crave companionship and having someone special in our lives can make a world of difference. My love and admiration for eagles grew even greater today.

Sometimes words can encourage us, calm us, challenge us or move us in so many other ways, but sometimes there just are no words. Sometimes words aren’t needed.

Published in: on August 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm  Comments (24)  

24 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What beautiful photos and interpretation. Wish I lived closer and could go eagle watching. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. 🙂

  3. This really touches my heart. What amazing perception you have. Thank you for posting this.

  4. Oh my Jim! This was a beautiful interpretation of what you saw that special morning…..I don’t even know how to express how much it touches my heart to hear about this new pair of Eagles. What a beautiful relationship they already have together! Just amazing……and it I’ll only grow stronger through the future months, I’m sure. I so hope they decide to stay in your area. So we can all enjoy as you follow and describe to us all, their beautiful future! Here’s hoping………we’ll surely see!

  5. Your words move me to tears. (joy) you just understand these beautiful birds & for that I am so grateful. I learn so much. Thank you. (As you see I’m not good with words) LOL

  6. I love seeing the eagle world through your eyes, Jim. You words and descriptions are poetic. Thank you for sharing these moments with us.

  7. I love your writing and enjoy all photos! Always looking forward to the next post !

  8. Oh my Jim, you continue to melt my heart with your beautiful words my gosh man, absolutely beautiful….. You must share this with the Eagle Peeps Jim….they cherish beautiful words….

  9. I was right there seeing what you saw and feeling what you felt…your words did that. Thank you Jim

  10. I feel as if I were there. Seeing what you saw, feeling what you felt. And from a distance, I agree with you. Very good post. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. Just wonderful!!!! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Thank you Wanda. Eagle watching is always better with friends.

  13. I am glad you were moved. I was so impressed by their tenderness.

  14. Thanks again Opal. We are bound to get more eventually as the recovery continues, why not these two and why not now?

  15. Your words carry gratitude and love Jannice. They were perfect. Thank you for your encouraging comments.

  16. Thank you Nancy. My words fall far short of reflecting the beauty with which God has graced these majestic birds.

  17. I am glad you enjoy our posts George. Thank you for your kind comment.

  18. Thank you Darlene. I love the Eagle Peeps community. I feel right at home there. I am blessed to be able to share the wonders I see in creation.

  19. Eagle watching in Dayton is a funny thing Pam, we have only a few and you never know exactly where they will be. Some days are slow and uneventful, but on other days God hits you between the eyes with a blessing that fills your heart and makes your spirit soar! I am so glad that He used my words to allow you to join me.

  20. It was a beautiful morning Trish and the tenderness in the treetops only served to enhance that beauty. I am so glad you were able to share the thrill!

  21. I am happy you enjoyed the post C.C. Confession time: They eagles often challenge me and Belle challenged me yesterday. I am a “fixer” and when my wife is feeling blue I want to fix things. Some times I need to just shut up and be there. (Now if I could only find out which times are which.)

  22. Your words blessed me. I’m headed to Eastwood this weekend just to try to sit in the moment like you did. I love reading your blog and hearing the passion in your words.

  23. Thank you Wendy. The eagles at both parks are a bit unpredictable during this time of year. Keep an eye on the skies over the wellfield and be patient, very, very patient. Good luck. The Red Tails will be on the pole tops to help entertain you though. Let me know what you see.

  24. I’m so glad I found others who love bald eagles as much as I do. It’s almost spiritual. And I should know better than to not have Kleenex handy when I read these absolutely beautiful stories!!

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