The One I Never Wanted to Write

This one is hard.

This one is a post that I hoped that I would never have to write. But it must be done because it is such an important part of the story.

Today The Treetop Palace has lost its queen.

I have often said that “life in the wild is wild” and that was never more true than it was today. My emotions are churning and I have no idea if my fingers can even put into words the thoughts that are swirling around in my head.

The overlying purpose of this blog is to share the stories of Jim and Cindy’s adventures in a way that is both factual and entertaining. But just as important is our goal to educate our readers on the realities of life in the wild. Jim and Cindy have met challenge after challenge and they have overcome each one. But some challenges are just too big. Sometimes the challenges win.

I apologize if the following record of the days events are painful for you. They are for me as well. The images captured by various people today are graphic and may be disturbing but I owe it to Cindy and to you, our readers, to share this day’s happenings for they too are a part of the struggle for survival that goes on all around us. It would be unfair of me not to share these events with those who lovingly follow Jim and Cindy. Let me assure you that this is not the end of their story for Cindy will live on in the lives of her many offspring. Jim is young, healthy and has a well established territory. It will be difficult to watch him over the next several days and weeks as he waits for his mate’s return but eventually he will realize that she is not coming home this time. Every year more and more young adult female eagles pass through his domain looking for a mate to bond with and we will continue to share Jim’s adventures as they unfold.

But now for today’s tragic events as I understand them:

Life has a way of becoming ordinary, even to the point of being mundane. Every day we each follow familiar routines as we rush off to work, school or wherever. And so it was this morning. As the crews of The Mad River well field began their never ending duties of maintaining wells, servicing pumps, clearing away debris and such, Cindy was busy with her normal duties as well. She was on the hunt for yet another stick to add to the aerie in preparation for this winter’s eggs. She had found a nice long stick, one any eagle would have been proud of, and headed back to their sycamore tree. That is when tragedy struck. Apparently just around 9:00, the ends of that long stick made simultaneous contact with bare wire conductors that carry electricity through the well field. Now we all know that wood is a non-conductive material but water is an excellent conductor and this stick was quite water-laden. The electrical current flowed along the stick, into Cindy’s left foot, passed through her body and exited her right chest. She was gone in an instant. Work crews nearby heard the electrical buzz, lights flickered and breakers kicked off. Workers nearby rushed toward the direction of the flash and their worst fears were confirmed. There, on her back, on the barren ground, they found the lifeless body of Queen Cindy still clutching a portion of her prized stick. The following image is both poignant and sad.


What a tragedy. What a loss.

Our local utility company has been pretty proactive in protecting our eagles by installing avian protection devices on many of the poles within the well field but the conductors between the poles are always an unseen threat to our eagles. I have often mentioned that the well field crews take the privacy and protection of their resident eagles very personally so I can only imagine the disappointment and the emotions that flooded their hearts as they realized that there was absolutely nothing that they could do. Grown men can cry too. Here before them on the cold ground lay the still form of unmeasurable beauty and grace. A “friend” they had cherished for over eight years. One whom they had encountered in summer’s heat and winter’s snow. One they had grown to admire and respect for her fortitude and resiliency. One many had even come to love.

Word of the tragedy spread rapidly across the well field as phone calls were made. Betty Ross and Rebecca Jaramillo, our dear friends at The Glen Helen Raptor Center were notified of their need and they responded at once. We have relied on their expertise often to recover injured juveniles from Jim and Cindy’s nest. Just a few years ago I stood here with Betty and others during the release of a rehabilitated fledgling and we had rejoiced together as Cindy appeared out of nowhere, swooped low under a tree and escorted her no-longer-missing youngster into the sky. Now tears flowed down the cheeks of many of those awaiting their arrival.

All stood in solemn silence as Rebecca quietly and respectfully placed Cindy on a towel and swaddled her snuggly.


Later in the afternoon Roger and I made our way to the raptor center to say our last goodbyes to this wonderful creature that we had grown to admire so.


We had spent hours watching her from afar, recording her story in images and words and sharing it with others. We wanted to…no…we needed to finally hold her in our arms and show our appreciation for all that she had meant to us over the years, all that she still means. She had never failed to make us smile, never failed to encourage us to allow our hearts to soar. Many people think that it is funny to become so attached to a wild creature but there are so many folks in Virginia, Iowa, Florida and across the country that understand that allowing yourself to become attached to a wild eagle carries far more blessings than heartaches, far more joy than pain.

Cindy was truly the queen of her domain. The Bible says that God’s unseen attributes are clearly seen in what He has created. Cindy never failed to reflect God’s glory, power, majesty and grace to my heart. The memory of her beauty will bless my heart forever as it does now as I share a posting that I never wanted to write.



Published in: on December 1, 2016 at 5:34 am  Comments (184)  

184 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Eagle Jim, I am grateful for your doing the sad job of letting us know about Cindy and her sudden ending! What a magnificent bird, and in what a perfect gesture of fulfilling her “job” of being the female of a carefully planned nest she was taken away. She likely did not suffer, seeing she was still holding the stick. I say Here’s to Cindi, Eagle extrodinaire, doing what God designed her for until she was done.

  2. I am heartbroken. Peace and comfort.

  3. My heart is broken for all of you… There are just no words.

  4. Thank you for your blog Yes the hard part is Jim will be waiting for her I know this was hard to write I want to thank you and God bless

  5. A wonderful blog! Thanks Jim & Roger for sharing.

  6. Heartbreaking, she was the first eagle I had seen “up close” and in person. Her fortitude and strength was a thing to behold. I’m so saddened but I’m holding on to hope for her life partner to find his new love and to go on in majesty.

  7. Read this with my morning coffee and cried like a baby. Hugs and ♥ to all.

  8. Beautiful tribute for a beautiful bird. Thank you for being a witness for the entire cycle of life.

  9. This is the one i never wanted to read. I am so very sorry. Nature can be so great and so heartbreaking at the same time. Thank you for being there–to hold her and comfort her, and you, on the last day. Fly high Cindy.

  10. condolences to all who grew to love this beautiful lady of the sky. She is one of many, but one of the most beautiful. Have you considered having her remains taken to be evaluated by a taxidermist?

  11. I’m heartbroken reading this! What a tragic loss. Fly high Cindy, you will be missed.

  12. So sorry for your loss. It is always a sad day to lose a eagle. They are such great teachers in the sky for many of us eagle cam watchers.

  13. I am heartbroken.

  14. How absolutely heartbreaking. 😥

  15. I have lost a member of my family with the passing of Cindy. God so loved all of his creatures so I imagine she is flying free near Him. Thank you for sharing this story as difficult as it was, it is a part of nature and life. Now a new chapter is opening for the eagles of Dayton, Ohio.

  16. I remember the first time there were tears in my eyes over an eagle dying. I was shocked that in such a short time I had gotten so attached. As I watched other varied grief responses with some saying they would never watch an eagle cam again, I came to the same conclusion as you, that the joy far outweighs the pain. So once again I was shocked as a tear ran down my cheek last night when I saw the photo of you holding Cindy, an eagle that I’ve never seen in person but know through photos. To me, it is just a reminder that pain is a part of life just as joy is. And joy is never as sweet without the previous experience of pain. I can not look at the majesty of an eagle without being pointed to their creator and that is a gift that makes the pain worth experiencing. So I grieve with you today.

  17. As one from Virginia who has experienced the loss of our beloved Mom Norfolk, I understand your pain. She and Dad had three eaglets at the time. A decision was made to remove the babies from the nest and take them to a wildlife center where they were later released. The saddest sight was seeing Dad return with a fish to an empty nest. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and am sorry for your loss. I know Jim will find another mate and will continue on, but it won’t be quite the same. The photos were tastefully and respectfully done. She was a beautiful eagle and I am glad you all who invested so much into documenting their lives were able to hold her and to say a final goodbye. My condolences on your loss.

  18. Such a tragedy. The sorrow I feel for the loss of such an amazing creature is over whelming .

  19. My sympathies go out to you guys. I know how much she meant to you. RIP Cindy. Even though I have already seen quite a few eagles here in central Florida, I will never forget the first time I saw you flying high above back in Ohio which lead me to this blog.

  20. Thank you for detailing the circumstances of Cindy’s death, and for caring about and sharing the story of these fabulous creatures. I look forward to hearing Jim’s story as he moves on without Cindy.

  21. My sincerest, heartfelt condolences. Yes, we get very attached to our Eagles, and through every trial and tribulation, there is always some kind of joy at the end of their daily struggles to survive. And some of us are so lucky to witness it…the joy, the sadness, the heartbreak…sour free Cindy! And know that your legacy continues. Bless all~

  22. How incredibly sad. These eagles have ment a great deal to my wife and I. We have expressed to our children how amazing it is to have eagles so close to our home. They politely listen and think we are half crazy when we spend a couple of hours on the dam looking through binoculars just to catch a glimpse of these amazing birds but I believe they will take that enthusiasm on as they get older. For my wife and I who were born in the mid 70’s and only ever saw eagles on nature shows or in a netted enclosure at the zoo they are nothing short of miraculous. We live 20 minutes or so north of Jim and Cindy on the Mad River and have had multiple sitings of immature eagles recently and are hopeful they will be making a home nearby.

  23. Sorry about your loss of your eagle.

  24. So sorry for all of our loss. Your beautiful pictures made feel as if we knew her as well as you! Thank you

  25. Jim, I’m so sorry for the loss of this majestic “Queen Cindy”:(

  26. So Sorry for your loss. Cindy was so BEAUTIFUL. My Condolences to all who knew her. Please keep everyone posted on how Jim is doing. GOD needed her back in HEAVEN.

  27. Omg i am so sorry. ..i thought it was so cool having them here again.i am so sad.Jeff Schneider

  28. What a beautiful tribute to Cindy and all she has meant to so many who have followed and enjoyed a birds eye view into her life. I too have tears. The same tears I shed when we heard of Mom Norfolk’s death. My family and friends would not understand. Only my eagle peeps do.
    Thank you for your wonderful pictures and insight.

  29. Thank you for sharing. It is so sad, but a part of life. How beautiful even in death. How much did she weigh?

  30. I love Eagles and watch many cams of other Eagles, This breaks my heart, tears in my eyes too. Marty

  31. Just too sad for words right now but thank you for telling the story so beautifully.

  32. i am so sorry for your loss. the story of johnathan livingston seagull by richard bach comes to mind…cindy is just on anther dimension, she’s not that far away… hugs to all

  33. I am so so sorry for your loss. She is beautiful.

  34. Very sad day! She will be missed!

  35. This just breaks my heart. We have lost too many juvenile Eagles to electrocution. Many tears have been shed. Watching them grow, and taking that first step from the safety of their nest. Then, getting the horrible news. They haven’t had the chance to fly free with other Eagles.
    R.I.P. Dear Queen Cindy. You will always be remembered, and will always have a big place in our hearts 💔💔❤️❤️🙏🙏.

  36. So tragic – thank you for your beautiful words and photos. I see God’s miracles in His creatures and wept for the loss of this precious being.

  37. What a tragic loss and thank you for your beautiful words.

  38. I have silently read the blog & viewed the many photos over time. Your words are a testament to the admiration & love of these eagles. I can only imagine the pain in your & Rogers heart. I hope a small measure of comfort comes from knowing beautiful Cindy did not suffer & her end came quickly. May everyone & her mate, Jim, be able to remember the joys of sharing their lives with her & come to the terms this loss entails. Somewhere way above where the human eye can see, Cindy watches the love each of you hold for her & the gentle embrace for the last time. For her mate & in the way of nature, may a new & beautiful mate come quickly for Jim & that he will grieve for only a very short time before the way of the eagle takes hold. Thank you for writing about this tragedy with what is I’m sure restrained grief. Be comforted that others hold you all in high regard & wish you peace.

  39. So sad that you had to write this story , but IT was needed and you did a GREAT job. Thank You she will be missed

  40. God bless you for writing to us today and sharing this sad accident of our Beautiful Cindy. I am thankful you were there and especially that you both were able to hold this majestic Eagle.

  41. I’m in tears right now. I’ve never seen this beautiful pair of eagles in real life, but I live in Ohio and I follow your blog. My heart goes out to you and those who watch these eagles. And to Jim. This is heartbreaking.

  42. I am so sorry about the loss of Cindy. What a beauty she was.

  43. Hello Jim,

    I am beyond saddened to hear about your beautiful Cindy, Jim. I, too, am fighting huge tears as I can truly feel your pain and your loss. She has been “your girl” for many years. Your beautiful poems and stories about Jim and Cindy have tugged at many hearts.

    As I look up at my Juliet, I choke even harder.

    Jim, thank you for your passion and faith as you are truly a blessing to so many.

    God Bless Jim in his difficult days ahead, and thank you for all you do, Jim.


    Gretchen Butler

  44. I am very sorry for the loss of Cindy. I don’t know how long eagles grieve but hope Jim finds a new mate in time for nesting season. Please be sure to ask the electricians to insulate those bare wire conductors!

  45. I am so sad, tears fill my eyes as I read your post. It’s never easy to lose one, especially a bird you’ve know for years and followed religiously. I grieve with you.

  46. What a beautiful tribute. I understand and am deeply sorry for your loss.

  47. It’s taken me all morning to think of what I want to say about your loss of Cindy. I know how much you, and all the eagle watchers loved her. I am so sorry for your loss, but am confident that your eagle watch days are not over. God bless you all during this sad time.

    Sincerely, Sue Swoll

    Sent from my iPhone


  48. So sad 😔 I live in the area and always wondered what in the world are people looking at. I finally realized what was going on. She is absolutely beautiful. Such a sad day for sure. 😔

  49. What a beautiful story ,with pain I read in your words . I am sorry this happened and my words can’t express the sadness I feel ! I am an eagle watcher and lover of these magnificent birds.

  50. Thank you, Jim & Roger, for sharing Cindy with us over the years. I know we will all miss seeing her ride those thermals in the sky.

  51. Cindy was such a magnificent raptor, her passing has brought tears to my eyes. This happens when you bond with any critter. Thank God loss does not keep me from rebounding. She will forever soar aroun Dayton.

  52. My heart aches for all of those who knew and loved Cindy.

  53. My heart hurts too. My eyes are wet. Oh so sad. May God comfort us all. Diane

  54. Oh this breaks my heart. Thank you…. for sharing, for caring, for everything.

  55. So sad. She was beautiful! I am curious will her mate find another mate?

  56. No words can express my feelings. thanks to all who lovingly and faithfully care about & for Gods creation.

  57. Cindy was a true beauty it saddens me to see her such state, I can be thankful though that her death was quick…. I believe she soars above in God’s grace… my heart aches though, how tragic, and it was nature itself who took her…..

  58. So very sad to read this post. Thank you for writing about our beloved Eastwood Eagles. With sincere sympathy. Heidi.

  59. Dear Jim and Roger and all followers..I am so sorry. This made me cry.

    “yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.”
    Matthew 10:29

  60. Tears for the beautiful soul that has left us ,now she will soar into the heavens where a few of the Decorah baby eagles fly only to be watched over by God and God`s helper Bob Anderson (Decorah Raptor Resource ). Prayers.

  61. Tears, so sorry for the loss of such a beautiful creature. RIP Cindy

  62. Words fail me. (Huge sigh.) After forcing myself to continue reading, in disbelief, and then seeing the photos, that instantly helped the realization, and to see her beauty, holding the stick, Beautiful Cindy. Poor Jim. I thank you – for telling us in your ever so sensitive way,what we needed to know. Beautiful words. Shared sympathy with all; a follower for years,

  63. No words can express the loss….my heart is broken..May Cindy fly high and free in God’s place.

  64. So sad, they are such beautiful creatures!

  65. What a sad ending for them, particularly when the hazard is not something that their instincts are wired to avoid.

  66. I never saw Cindy, but as I read this the tears roll down my Cheeks. She was SO Beautiful! God does good work!
    Beautifully Written! Fly to the Heavens, Cindy…………..

  67. So well written. Thanks so much for all you’ve done for these eagles and for writing this beautiful memorial to her.

  68. Thank you for this touching and tragic story. What a moment it had to have been to hold her- again, touching and tragic.

  69. How very sad to hear this! Living in Columbus, Ohio i have followed your posts on Jim & Cindy for quite some time. I always had the intention to come to Dayton to see them “in person” but never seemed to make it. I am saddened that I never took the time. Thank you for conveying this post – i know this was hard to do.

  70. I am so, so saddened by your loss. Love and prayers. My heart is aching for all of you and your fans.

  71. My heart ❤️ is with you. I love all Gods creatures!

  72. All lives end. What is important is to have lived and she lived an eagle’s life. How many of us can claim that? C indy is flying higher, now the creature of a far bigger sky. I am sad for her mate… but that Great Sky will find him too one day and she’ll be there. I take heart in knowing that ♡

  73. So very sad!! I’m so sorry for the loss of this gorgeous eagle. The pictures, while sad to see, show the love you all have for Cindy. May she fly high with those that have gone before her. I know from watching the Decorah, Iowa eagle cam, that electrocutions happen. It’s so sad that it continues to happen.

  74. Beautifully written, but so sad!

  75. So sorry. I volunteer at a wildlife conservation park in Oregon, and know exactly how we can love individual animals, even though we’ll never be allowed direct contact.
    Can anything be done to mitigate this danger for future eagles and other wildlife? Sounds like it was already a concern.

  76. Don’t cry because she has gone smile because she brought so much happiness and lifted us up out of our little lives’ to the window of majesty.

  77. Cindy, soar high and free and watch over your family…I don’t think anyone could have written a more loving description of Cindy! Thank you for your beautiful words. My heart aches for everyone who loved her, but, right now, my heart really aches for Jim as he awaits her return. ♥

  78. So sorry to hear of the loss of Cindy. May her spirit fly free.

  79. Jim, so sorry for EEW and you on the loss of Cindy! Truly heart breaking news. All of Eagle Nation grieves with you.

  80. I am so sorry for the loss of this Majestic Eagle. She will never be forgotten and she is going to remain in my heart forever.

  81. So very sorry for your loss today… She was a beautiful lady and will be missed by all..

  82. RIP

  83. I did not follow this pair but this tragic story has made me cry. My condolences to all who were an integral part of her life. Fly high Cindy.

  84. Cindy now reigns in the Garden of St. Francis. I am so sorry for your lose.
    She was a beautiful bird and my hope is that her mate does find another.
    God Bless you for dedication to these majestic birds.
    Pat Stevens.

  85. My heart is aching for all of us and especially for Cindy and her mate.

  86. My heart breaks for Cindy and all of you!

  87. As an avid Eagle watcher from Western Pennsylvania, I offer my deepest condolences for the loss of your queen, Cindy.

  88. Oh, Jim, sadness over the loss of another beautiful, loved eagle engulfs me. You have written a beautiful tribute to Cindy and expressed all our feelings over this loss, just as we felt when we lost our Lady Norfolk. Seeing the male waiting for his mate’s return is exactly as you expressed and then he finally realizes she is gone forever and he must seek another to continue creating new lives. We go on, but we never forget.

  89. Oh, Jim, sadness over the loss of another beautiful, loved eagle engulfs me. You have written a beautiful tribute to Cindy and expressed all our feelings over this loss, just as we felt when we lost our Lady Norfolk. Seeing the male waiting for his mate’s return is exactly as you expressed and then he finally realizes she is gone forever and he must seek another to continue creating new lives. We go on, but we never forget.

  90. My heart hurts for the loss of Cindy and feeling sad for her mate being left alone. Also feeling sad for you guys who were eyes and ears for these wonderful birds . You have loved and cared for them, thank you.

  91. Truly difficult to read, but necessary! My condolences to those involved.

  92. Can something be done to prevent this from happening again? So very sad.

  93. My Lord, what a loss. I teach in Texas, 4th, 5th and 6th graders and we have become avid watchers of the Washington D.C. eagles. You post brought me to tears and I can only imagine your loss. Please keep on with your important work. Our children need to share your vision of free and protected eagles.

  94. I am so very sorry, what a tragic end for such a beautiful eagle.

  95. Love this story…. those of us who are attached to these lovely creatures are all over, not just in Virginia, Florida and Iowa…. I had the huge honor of training/handling 3 bald eagles, and they forever hold a huge spot in my heart. Thank you for writing Cindy’s story… it is a lovely tribute!

  96. Heartbreaking news, a loss we all feel in the depth of our souls. She and all Bald Eagles are such majestic birds, Learning all the ways that they strive to survive, working so hard to ensure the survival of their species is a lesson for all of us. We really must do more to ensure that the dangers humans create are diminished, rather than increased. Such as, the Wind Energy installations along migratory paths. We can do better, and we must.
    So so sorry for your loss.

  97. Such a wonderful tribute to Cindy…we are all sad.

  98. This breaks my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I have only recently started following Eastwood Eagle Watchers but reading the way you write about Jim and Cindy, anyone can tell just how dear they are to you. My heart goes out to all who admired, respected, and loved Cindy

  99. So sad to hear but life is wild and very brutal at times. I hope we can all find solice in knowing she was a QUEEN. WHAT A MAJESTIC LADY.

  100. Tears in my eyes, I am so sorry for your loss of Beautiful Cindy, so awful. Ontario Canada

  101. “Sad” isn’t a strong enough word for all that I feel about this. I have followed the story of Jim and Cindy for several years, and I feel like they were my extended family. I’m sure many of your readers feel the same way. My thoughts are now with Jim, and his grief. I wish I knew of a way to comfort him, but I know there is none. Please continue to write about him, as we will be anxiously awaiting news of his journey.

  102. I am heartbroken for the loss of this majestic Queen. R.I.P. Cindy

  103. My heart is breaking for all of you and my tears are flowing into a river of grief. Thank you for what you do.

  104. we drive by there alot and would see Cindy from time to time.. we would pull over and watch her.. Our Hearts are broken and tears are flowing… God Bless Cindy.. she has crossed over the Rainbow…..your friends Bob and Denise Shotts.. and our grandkids…

  105. I didn’t know about Jim and Cindy, though I follow bald eagle cams all the time. However, I am heartbroken over this tragedy of this beautiful bird and am sobbing uncontrollably. I hate to hear such sad news of our wonders of nature. RIP beautiful Cindy. I’m glad it was quick.

  106. So saddened and sorry for your loss. She will continue to soar and watch over you all. She was a beautiful bird!

  107. so sorry for your loss. I understand the love of eagles as I am an eagle lover too.

  108. I sit here with tears on my cheeks and an aching heart. Soar on Cindy.

  109. My heart is full of sorrow and pain for all of us who love our eagles!!! My heart hurts for you and Roger and all the other people who followed Jim and Cindy’s life and shared it with us!!!! It feels like a family member is gone or a wonderful friend yet you described to us that we still have memories of this beautiful eagle!!! My prayers are with all of you who knew Cindy all these years. Polly.

  110. My sincere condolences to everyone. I happened to see the blog posted on Facebook from the American Eagle Foundation and even though I never followed the story of these majestic birds, as a bird lover I cried at this heart breaking story. I couldn’t even begin to fathom the depths of pain and suffering from those who watched these birds year after year, following their story, seeing them mate, young hatching and fledged. My sincerest prayers go out to you and yours. Even though this has been a tragedy, keep the memory of beloved Cindy in your hearts and never forget the joy she brought to each and everyone.

  111. My heart breaks for this beautiful creature and her partner. I swear its the saddest story ever.nay she rest in peace!

  112. So beautifully written, but it broke my heart. I started watching Mr President and The First Lady last February and got hooked on these gorgeous gifts from God. It’s such a tragedy every time an animal has to die before its time 😦 My condolences to those who loved her.

  113. Beautifully written. My condolences.

  114. I am so sorry. She is beautiful … perfectly clean white head .. and a gorgeous yellow orange beak. She was well cared for. I hope Jim can adjust quickly and continue on to have many more fledglings with a new, suitable partner. Our G-d is truly majestic.

  115. So tragic. Nature is wonderful, but sad also. After being part of her life for 8 years i cant iimagine the pain they must feel. My tears join theirs as they mourn this Queens death

  116. so sad to have read this although I didn”t know Cindy., I am a big fan of the decorah eagles and I was in tears to read this. My condolences to everyone and all viewers.

  117. My heart is aching and the tears are flowing and my prayers and emotions are with you and with all of you. This beautiful eagle promoted the health and future safety of more eagles to come. It is a stunning blow…irretrievable and a tragedy. I am so deeply sorry.

  118. Beautiful and touching tribute and a sad ending to beautiful Queen Cindy ! May she rest in peace and live on in memory and her eaglets ~

  119. My heart goes out to all

  120. I am in tears….So very very sad…God Bless this truly magnificent eagle…Cindy and God be with Jim as he has a difficult task ahead…

  121. So very sorry….such a beautiful creature….such a great loss. God bless her. My heart hurts 😦

  122. I’m so very sad for your loss. Wow she was just breath taking.

  123. My heart goes out to all involved. It’s a sad loss.

  124. I am so very sorry for your great loss. May God hold her in his arms.

  125. We are all heartbroken about Cindy’s death. What a majestic and beautiful eagle. Thankfully she passed those genes on to her offspring. She will be missed. Godspeed, Cindy.

  126. So sorry, Jim, for the loss of this beautiful eagle. As you said there were far more blessings than heartaches, far more joy than pain. Hoping Jim finds a new mate soon too.

  127. My heart breaks upon hearing of this tragedy. Rest in Peace and fly high, Cindy! Your beauty will never be forgotten.

  128. So, so heartbreaking. So very sorry for this loss. Tammy Carter, Dalton, GA

  129. Heartbreaking, to say the least! 😓

  130. I am saddened by this event. Please accept my condolences for the loss of beautiful Cindy. It hurts (tears) and I don’t even know her.

    I have been an eagle watcher since Jan 2012 and have been hooked in the talons of Liberty/Justice of Alcoa (now Arconic) Davenport, Iowa and Harriet / M15 in SWFLEC (N Ft. Myers, FL) I was born in Ft. Myers almost 80 years ago but have lived in Oregon for 45 years. The FL nest is special for that reason. Both nests fell last Spring, but Florida rebuilt and now has eggs and Iowa has a new nest within camera sight. ;>))

    Do you have an eagle cam?? They are so educational and so much fun to watch.

    It is early to mention this, but I want to give a future to Jim who will grieve and then go on with life. SWFL’s Harriet became a ‘widow’ about 18 months ago and she grieved. Then M15 showed up and they had 2 eaglets last year with much drama. He was just turning into an adult and had some iffy moments learning to be a ‘dad’ and then build the nest this year…but life is going on and we must “Trust the eagles.”

    Blessings to those who hurt right now. SED

    anninor @.

  131. Heartbreaking. such a horrible way for her to die. My heart and prayers are with this majestic girl.

  132. I am so very sorry for your loss. She was a magnificent bird. Fly into the heavens Cindy where there is no pain, but peace comfort and joy. Fly high into the Arms of God!

  133. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Cindy. She will be missed by so many. ❤

  134. What a tragedy to lose this beautiful creature. Thank you for writing the story. I’m sorry for your loss. It’s nice to know ther are people who care about life. No matter what species. Blessings I

  135. Jim my heart is broken. There just aren’t any words. Being a volunteer raptor rehabber for over 30 years, you just see so much! But there are those that grab your heart in an extra special way, especially with all the cams now. Was blessed to watch them on cam and then thruogh your eyes here. Giving you a virtual hug.

    Joleen Maiden

  136. This is a beautiful, well written, sad, tragic ending. So sad. She will be forever missed and loved.
    Tears are falling.

  137. Thank you all for your kind words. Your response and support is overwhelming. I cannot answer you individually but here are the answers to some of the more common queries. Cindy weighed 1040 grams – just over 11 pounds. Her remains are federally protected and must be turned over to US Fish and Wildlife unless they direct otherwise. As I mentioned in the post, our local utility company is pretty proactive in protecting our local eagles but I do hope that we eventually find better ways to handle the manmade threats to the lives and the safety of these majestic birds. For those concerned about Jim, I trust that he will find a new mate soon and prosper. As we embrace the wonders of these beautiful creatures may we grow in gratitude to The Creator of all we hold dear.

  138. My prayers and heartfelt sympathy go out to Jim as he slowly realizes. To Cindy everything she has given. And to you the care & love has given these magnificent creatures, Thank you

  139. way to many times we hear of the passing of one of our beloved eagles. And as always we are saddened…but our love for these birds help us to move on to watch and cheer on the many many others…RIP Cindy as always the sky is your home.

  140. What a beautiful tribute to Cindy, Heaven has opened the gates to one of Gods beautiful creatures. She will be missed by many

  141. Oh dear dear Jim, yet another wonderful blog albeit a sad one. Our Ozzie passed and that was my first eagle ‘loss’. I always enjoy, more than words can express, reading your blogs. I always feel like I’m right there with you. And no cam either. That’s pretty fantastic. My thoughts now are with Jim? Hopefully many suiters will come knocking. Eagles seem to understand and bounce back much quicker than humans do.

    Trust the Eagles. Marylee

  142. So very sorry to hear this 😦 oh the circle of life can be so difficult sometimes 😦

  143. I am so sorry. RIP Cindy and fly free with God!

  144. Such a tragic loss of a truly magnificent beauty, Queen Cindy will forever be apart of each of us and forever in our hearts. Thank you for the lovely tribute in her honor. Godspeed Cindy

  145. Thank you for sharing such a sad, but yet beautiful tribute to such a beautiful creature that you felt close to. I have spent time as well observing these magnificient birds for the ODNR and i understand the attachment that forms. Many years of observation and care led to such a loving closure of the final chapter of her life.

  146. I am so very sorry for your loss of such a beautiful girl. She was absolutely beautiful. I am sorry to say I was unaware of your site but as I read your story my heart is breaking and crying.

  147. To Jim and Roger: I am deeply saddened by the news about Cindy, the Queen of the Treetop Palace. I have been a devoted follower of your blog, and have looked forward to each posting and news about them for a number of years now. I count it a blessing to have witnessed both Cindy and Jim in flight and acquaintance with both of you to whom I have learned so much. I appreciate the responses of the prior posters who have so beautifully expressed my sentiments to this lost.

  148. Such a beautiful creature. Such a terrible loss. Our hearts are broken.

  149. So sorry for our loss! Thank you for sharing your love with these beautiful beings!

  150. This is so heart wrenching. I share a similar experience with Samantha, a red-tailed hawk, who was electrocuted during Hurricane Irene. She’s buried she in my front yard looking at the field where was conceived and so loved.

  151. Sorry for your loss to the avian and nature loving community. In south Florida we have suffer similar losses and the extent of the impact to those who admire these majestic, interesting birds runs very deep. Condolences to the community.

  152. I too cried like a baby while drinking my morning coffee yesterday when I read the caption, I actually yelled out in disbelief. I was hoping that I was not going to read what I knew was ahead. Following Eastwood Eagle Watchers, viewing the live feeds and visiting the reservoir where the kids and I would often see them soaring, made me feel as if they were a part of me. I know many feel the same way. Oddly, we moved to Ohio 8 years ago and I was never so shocked to learn that there were a nesting pair of eagles right around the corner from us. From that day forward, they became a part of our lives. Such beautiful, majestic creatures that I so looked forward to being lucky enough to catch a glimpse of in person. I didn’t realize until yesterday, just how much of an impact they had. It actually hurts and I was not involved in anyway. So sorry for your loss for those who were. I can only imagine.

  153. I would love to hear anout these beautiful creatures we have living so close to us. Thank you and my heart is broken because of Cindy.

  154. So sorry Jim.

  155. I am deeply saddened over the loss of a beautiful, majestic eagle-Cindy. I have cried all morning since I saw your tribute and pictures, especially the picture of the lady holding Cindy in her arms, covered in a blanket. I also grieve over Jim who is probably still looking for Cindy, and is now very lonely. I hope he finds a new mate soon. May she fly free and have a special place in heaven.

  156. So sorry for your loss. It made me think of when we lost Ozzie here in SWFL. Our hearts hurt for so long as I am sure yours will. Maybe our Ozzie greeted Cindy as she crossed the rainbow bridge!

  157. No tears! Cindy lived the good life, free. Free to soar and to mate. Now she is in the hands of all’s creator where she will be allowed to soar to newer, higher heights…Fly free girl, you earned it!

  158. so sorry for your heart breaks reading it..

  159. Oh what a tragic loss! She was such a beautiful individual to lose her life in such a senseless way. I pray Jim will recover and continue Cindy’s legacy by raising another family of eaglets. Please continue with updated posts. It eases the pain of the loss.

  160. I am Deeply Saddened by your loss, Jim and Roger; You gents were the guardians and heralds of this magnificent and proud avian family. Over the years, I have greatly enjoyed your words and pictures of this pair of Bald Eagles and their off spring. It is a disappointing that we, the people, were contributors to the death of one of our BEAUTIFUL and loved national birds. Please do not let this sorrowful event deter you from creating your enjoyable pics and prose. Sincerely Harris Bartine
    BTW… Would it not have been good to leave Cindy in an open area for a short time, under distant guard, visible to Jim until such time as Jim would have seen/visited her? I may be dumb in this area — but closure for Jim??

  161. This is such sad news. While I was not aware of this eagle pair I feel a great sadness. For the past 5 years I have worked for the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, Tn. I am in total awe of Bald Eagles and I Sympathize will all who have been following these majestic creatures.

  162. This is so heartbreaking. Thank you for writing such a beautiful tribute and for treating Cindy with such respect following her passing. It is touching and gives me renewed hope to know there are people that are truly passionate about these majestic creatures. Soar high Queen Cindy.

  163. My heartfelt sympathy to all. I understand for I to have a eagle pair that have stole my heart the last 4 years. I’ve seen them repair their nest each year, guard and hatch their young, fly so wondrous, and teach their young hunting and flying skills. I worry about them in bad weather, and sit close by always to gaze upon these magnificent birds. Thank you for sharing this story even tho it’s sad. So glad there are folks out there that appreciate God’s gifts to us.

  164. Such a huge loss for all. Blessings and prayers to all who mourn Queen Cindy’s passing.

  165. Sending prayers so sorry for the loss of this beautiful bird. Queen of the treetops will live on forever.

  166. Tears fall as I read of one of Gods creatures now fallen. Thanks for all you do and passing it on for us to see! God bless.

  167. So sad

  168. Animals are such a big part of our lives. They give us joy and make us smile. But, losses of them are a part of it all and never easy to deal with as they can tear your heart out with the sadness. Sorry for your loss of this beautiful bird that you all have loved for so long. She was a gift to you all and hopefully one of her offspring will be returning to also give you all love and smiles again and will always keep the love of their mother “Queen Cindy” in your hearts as well.

  169. I am heartbroken about Cindy. We will miss you sweetheart

  170. I am English and live in the UK. I love the Bald Eagle and watched the DC live Eagle nest last season and I’m watching the NE Florida one now. It was only 20 minutes ago that I heard bout the tragic and so sad loss of that beautiful bird Cindy. I cried when reading the post and my heart goes out to all Bald eagle lovers. Poor Jim will be devastated when he finally realises that his beloved Cindy will not be returning home.
    May God Bless and keep safe that wonderful bird The Bald Eagle and may God Bless you all.

  171. Good morning. On behalf of the Hays Eagle nest in Pittsburgh, PA, we share your sorrow in the loss of one of your beloved pair. We support you, and send our love and prayers to all of eagle nation.

  172. Eagle Jim and crew. I am so sorry for your loss! Prayers for you all in the hard days ahead. Alice Werntz

  173. seems like now that this terrible tragedy has happened, that they would cover the live wires with some type of rubber layers so this would not happen again.

  174. So sorry for this huge loss. My heart breaks. Thank you for your beautiful tribute to such a magnificent creature. She will be missed.

  175. Your loss is moving and so very palpable. But never apologize for telling the WHOLE STORY. There is a circle of life — we all know it, but we often trick our minds into forgetting about the end of the loop. What is started and nurtured must some day come to an end. As you put it, life in the wild is wild and you never know which day will be the last. I do not believe one can truly celebrate and appreciate the lives of these magnificent animals without realizing the entire story — and coming to grips with the circle as it completes itself. To fully appreciate the work you have done and the dedication you have shown, the photos show the dignity, grace and respect you showed in handling Queen Cindy’s passing. You have done great work and as you take the time to grieve what you lost, make sure you find time to congratulate yourselves for the great things you did before the circle came to its natural conclusion.

  176. When a link to Cindy’s story appeared on our home page of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation website I immediately noticed Dayton, Ohio, my birthplace and where I grew up, even going to Eastwood Park occasionally on my bicycle as a kid.

    Now here I am years later living in British Columbia and assistant to David Hancock, eagle biologist and pioneer in streaming live eagle cams on the Internet since 2006. Small world.

    Electrocution is such a common cause of death for eagles unfortunately. At least it appears that Cindy was killed instantly and didn’t suffer as many others do before dying a horrible death. So God was merciful in her case.

    I certainly never saw a live eagle when I lived in Dayton. It is noteworthy that Cindy and Jim were the first pair in 70 years. Hopefully he will find a replacement mate and produce offspring in the spring.

    God Bless…..Karen Bills (nee Griffith), Wilbur Wright/Patterson Co-Op class of ’61.

  177. This is so sad. I know that there is a Heaven and God has a special place for beauty such as Cindy. Prayers for strength and peace to everyone who knew her.

  178. Thank you for continuing to put to words what has become our love story of Jim and Cindy. While this has been a truly sad heartfelt event, it makes those of us who have followed them these 8 years reflect on the joy and wonder that we have been blessed to encounter.

  179. So sad I’m still mourning her loss as many of us who have followed your post through the years. I can only imagine how you must feel. I have one question how is Jim coping. Is he staying with the nest waiting for Cindy’s return. Or, is he out looking for her I’m sure he must be in mourning too.

  180. Bawling like a baby. This was one of the saddest, beautiful and most poignant things I have ever read. She was a magnificent creature. You made me proud that she is our country’s symbol. Sending sympathy from South Carolina to all that she touched!

  181. This was really a tragedy. You wrote a beautiful tribute to Cindy. I hope Jim finds “another Cindy” and they both live a long life.

  182. Has Jim found a new mate already or was it one of their offspring? I saw two adult Bald eagles in the usual tree at the East end of the lake on Monday the 5th.

  183. I just posted an update that will answer your question Aaron.

  184. Please tell us how Jim and the young ones are doing!

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