Sometimes Almost Too Wild To Bear

My frequently used statement “Life in the wild is wild.” is not only used as just a statement of fact. I often use it to prepare our hearts for the unpredictable twists of life in the wild. Triumphs and tragedy are often companions walking hand in hand in the wild.

I pray your hearts are prepared for what I am forced to share with you now.

We have lost young Flyer.

Early this morning she was struck by a truck on I-75 as she flew too low over the highway that passes just west of Carillon Park. She had attempted a landing not far away but misjudged the perch and subsequently headed back toward the traffic. We are all heartbroken at her loss.

Our dashed hopes and dreams for her future are made even more sorrowful by our belief that she was quite possibly the granddaughter of our beloved Cindy, whom we lost late in 2016.

Her short, 87 days of life inspired literally hundreds within the park and thousands more through the newspaper, television and online reports of her progress. There are many threats to wild eagles as they try to live in our modern world. Dangers lurk in electrical wires, aircraft overhead, automobile traffic below and a myriad of places, threats that their ancestors had never known.

We are privileged to be witnesses of their recovery but vulnerable to the pain of their loss. I have passed down this road several times before and know its bittersweet kiss too well.

I am sorry that I have had to share this news with all of you this morning but it is one more page in their unfolding story, a page that must be read. Let us find solace in the fact that their story is indeed still unfolding. More pages are yet to be written. More chapters are yet to be revealed. More joys are yet to be shared.

Life in the wild is wild, but it is sometimes almost too wild to bear.


Published in: on July 22, 2018 at 9:38 am  Comments (90)  

90 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sad, sad news indeed.

  2. Jim, i am too heartbroken for words…I hope she didn’t suffer.
    Linda G

  3. It is a sad moment for me, but I know it must be incredibly difficult for you, as you have watched them up close all along. I am so sorry. Thank you for taking the time to tell us of this loss. I hope that these two eagles will build at the park again next year. Hopefully they will give us many more eaglets yet. First years are the worst.

  4. So sorry to hear the sad news! Thx for caring & sharing!

  5. RIP little Flyer!

  6. I agree it is sad news. I am glad I was able to see the young eagle and take pictures. Just like in baseball there’s always next year!

  7. Through my emotional tears I share a profound appreciation for all you do to share your love and knowledge about our local eagles. I’m so sorry and saddened at Flyer’s loss. I hope Orv and Willa can overcome this loss and move forward.

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  8. How sad.. I was fortunate to witness her branching on the 17th. I have never seen an eagle in the wild ever. Seeing her last week was an inspiration to my wife and myself in such a fascinating way. We now have an interest in wild life we never had before. Thank you Flyer, Orv & Willa.
    Thank you Jim for all the great information you provided. Hope to see you in future.
    John & Kathy

  9. My heart aches for you. So so sorry.

  10. This news is heart breaking. Did this happen Saturday morning or Sunday morning? I know this hurts deeply for all who have followed the life of Flyer and her parents. We need to look to the future.
    Greg Hemker

  11. we have seen and loved her, and the others, thru your eyes and words. thank you for caring and sharing with us the lives in the wild of these beautiful creatures.

  12. So deeply sorry for the loss of Flyer.Flyer will be remembered for all she gave to the world in her short time on earth.There are so many dangers to wildlife and I spend time every day helping to make their lives better through volunteer work and doing my best to protect them. It’s important to remember how much Flyer enriched our lives and that she had so many people who cared about her.Thank you for sharing this sad news at such a difficult time.


  13. Someone wisely said when one door closes, another door opens. We will look forward to the days ahead…not what was, but what will be. Thank you for your constant vigilance.

  14. Jim, we are heartbroken as well. It has been such a joy to watch the eagles and eaglet throughout their journey. Did you see it happen? How very tragic. I love your posts and pictures and hope you will continue.

    Lynda Hoffman

  15. I am so very, very sorry to hear this. Poor angel! Heaven, I am sure, holds Eagles as the Bible mentions them frequently. Fly high baby.

  16. Oh no. So sorry to hear this. Thank you Jim for letting us know.

  17. I am so saddened by this news. And sorry for your loss and the loss to all of us who followed so closely the nesting. Thank you for all your education.

  18. Oh my gosh! The beautiful baby, I am heartbroken, for so so many reasons! One being that your characterization of her story through we learned to love her and sometimes in her antics! I am sorry for your loss, our loss and the loss of a beautiful eagle! My heart hurts for you all who had close contact with her, well as close as one can get with a camera! When we lost Cindy I too felt like I had lost her, because through Rogers posts I became very very attached to her and Jim as many do when we watch the cams or the posts! I am once again reminded one of the first things we learned from Ed Clark many years ago! Only 50% of new eaglets will make it to the first year, and then on 50% of those will make it to adulthood at 5 years. That is a fact and number in my opinion has improved slightly over the years with the education that many have gained. There are many more transporters now than there was 7 years ago, and that increases their odds.If one is truly truly going to be a cam watcher, an eagle lover, we have to be aware of the bad as well as the good! I am so so sorry for the loss of little Flyer, baby can now soar the thermals beyond 😥

  19. When I read your title, I was almost too afraid to read what was to come, but I continued. I’m so sorry for this loss of young Flier. As saddened as I am about the news, I know the hurt and sadness that you and those who are there and have made the connection to this nest has to be so much greater.

    Thank you for letting us know. P

  20. I live in western Washington, and I get to see eagles just about every day. If I don’t get to see an eagle every day I feel like I’ve missed something. To those of you watching Flyer grow and develop, my sincerest condolences. You are correct Jim, sometimes too wild.

  21. This morning when I got to, ‘We have lost young Flyer’ I had to stop. Forcing myself to continue, when arriving at the end, as is my way, I had to think, ‘It could have been worse’ but, ‘No’. And so I wanted to have a pleasant or positive thought. That for me is remembering a card I gave my late husband one nice day. It says, “Some Saturday morning – let’s fly away.” He was a private pilot and therein the purpose. One day he did ‘fly away’, alone, after a well-fought battle with cancer. Flyer touched my heart. He will never be forgotten. So young, he tried, but he left us.
    Thank you for sharing in beautiful words. Carol L.

  22. This is absolutely so heartbreaking, fly high and free flyer,we will all miss you so much💔🦅

  23. Such sad news .. Thank you ,Jim Weller for sharing this young eagle couple with us & the beautiful little Flyer .😢 Prayers & hope that next year Orv &Willa will continue to make Carillon home .

  24. So sorry to read what happened to Little Flyer. I’m sure she was welcome by my little friends DH4, DN7 and DN8 them too which reached too early the Rainbow Bridge. Fly high, free and with always a full crop little one !

  25. My heart sank as I read Eagle Jim’s email letting us know that our Sweet, Beloved Flyer has now transitioned to one of God’s Little Eagles. Fly High, Sweet One, Fly High! I try to think of the Wonderful 87 days that we were able to share in Young Flyer’s life, not their Untimely End. Only God knows the Beginning and the End for all Life on Earth, Mankind and Animals. I just Trust HIM and you all must do the same, just Trust HIM. As I read the email this morning, tears rolled down my cheeks, not only for myself, but for Eagle Jim as well. No one knows the loss of Young Flyer more than he, I am sure. Eagle Jim, you have brought many moments of Joy, Happiness, Laughter, Concern, and now Sadness to my life thru your insightful Emails allowing us to share Vicariously the lives of Willa, Orv and Little Flyer. God has truly gifted you thru your writings. Thank You for sharing your Love of God’s Majestic Eagles with me and all those out there like myself who now mourn the passing of yet another Eaglet. Life has been hard on a lot of the Eagle Nests this Season and it has been hard to lose these Precious Babies, but it is a part of The Circle of Life. Be joyful in the fact that Nature allows us the privilege of such a Magnificent Life Experience! May God Bless us all.

  26. I read this is pure agony. I know all too well that these very unfortunate things happen sometimes but also how fortunate we are able to witness and have the blessing of knowing the great joy that comes from them. My thoughts and prayers with all 🙏🏻

  27. I am so very sorry to hear this. I have enjoyed your stories so much and feel so sad for you and all of us who have been following the adventures of litte Flyer. Fly high and free, little one!

  28. I am heartbroken. Thank you for sharing the story of her life.

  29. So so sorry to hear this, it always seems such a waste of all the parents hard work when we lose an osprey or eagle chick at home or in your country.

  30. So very sorry for your loss! She was a beautiful eaglet and could have had a wonderful life, but it was not to be. Keep following these beautiful birds and please keep writing about them.

  31. RIP little Flyer 😢

  32. I am so very sorry. Many others are grieving with you. Nature is so beautiful and unfortunately so very cruel. Fly free little one. ❤

  33. So sad to hear. I follow your emails and share with my Friends of Feathered friends. We watch the dceaglecam in Washington. Nature is at its best often cruel. The Eagles work so hard to branch, and fledge, that sometimes you wish they would just stay in the nest.

    Thank you for the beautiful photographs, and updates. I had planned a visit this weekend to Dayton. I always drive past the Carillon, when I come into town and when I leave. Time and a sore throat didn’t make it happen. Teresa

    Sent from my iPad


  34. I am heartbroken; I have followed her from the egg. Any word about the parents?

  35. Heartbreaking news – when you think how precious each one is, and how hard they struggle to survive, and how much effort goes into raising an eagle family. So so sorry.

  36. I am very sorry to read of loss of the eaglet “Flyer”. I read this very early this morning I believe almost after it was posted. I had to step back to think about it. I kept asking myself if they are sure it’s the same Eaglet? Why did this have to happen I asked myself over and over as tears rolled on down my cheek. Because it is a wild thing just as was posted.
    I am so grateful to part of this and admire ALL the photos of both eagle family’s and the words that are posted as if I’m there. I hope it will continue and let a new story unfold next Nesting season. I have to accept the fate of this beautiful Eaglet “Flyer” and know in my heart that I am better for having known him/her.
    Thank you

  37. Jim… I am like many others are stricken with grief…. while I understand life in the wild I was very hopeful for flyer. In fact my neighbor and I went to Carrilon today in hopes to see her and was deviated by the news. As you said we will continue to watch the story of their lives unfold, with hopes of a more joyous occasion soon.

    Do you think the will mate again this year?
    Looking UP to their Future!

  38. Some days are really hard April. They will not mate again this year but hopefully they will produce eggs in February. Eagles in our area must produce their eggs in late winter to allow for 35 days of incubation, 70 days of growth and feathering, 2 to 3 weeks for fledging and two months or so of flight mastering and hunting school for the eaglets to be able to care for themselves through winter’s challenges.

  39. It was instantaneous Linda.

  40. First years are often fraught with failure indeed Mimi. Instinctive drives need experience for success and threats abound.

  41. You are welcome Lynda.

  42. They will go on.

  43. The story will continue John.

  44. Thank you Carolyn. Tears today, smiles tomorrow. Sharing this journey is a real adventure.

  45. Thanks Greg. Many threats exist but the future holds promise.

  46. Thanks Nancy.

  47. As the populations recover you will be needed more and more Carol. Losses have always happened but most were unseen as many still are. The wilderness and rural areas they once called home have changed over the decades.

  48. Mary, I wish the news was different but wildlife face a wild life. The story continues.

  49. There is more to the tragedy, images and details that I will not share out of respect for Flyer and for our followers. Her death was instantaneous. We will continue to keep everyone updated.

  50. Thank you Susan.

  51. Thanks Jim.

  52. It is a page that I hoped I would not have to report Elizabeth, but it is a vital part of the story.

  53. Good points for us all to remember Darlene. I quote those statistics often in an effort to prepare others for that potential. We, as a society, are more involved and more aware of their plight. As the population recovers more and more nests will be in observable locations where concerned humans can intervene when necessary. The story is real and raw. It is unscripted reality that we are blessed to observe first hand. Thank you for sharing the grief.

  54. Thanks P. Loss hurts, deeply hurts, but loss is real and cannot be concealed.

  55. Thank you Will. I share your passion.

  56. Thank you Carol. “Let’s fly away” carries with it the double hope of flight and companionship. Sometimes in the midst of other eagle admirers an eagle on wing will allow my heart to soar freely as I embrace their freedom. Flyer touched many hearts and will remembered for a long, long time.

  57. Heartbreaking indeed Diane.

  58. Thank you Kimberly.

  59. It has been a rough year for eagles.

  60. Well stated Janet. Each day is a new page, each moment a sentence in an unfolding story. It is unfiltered, raw and real but The Author is flawless. May we learn as we read. May we be moved to love more deeply and share more openly. We will continue to share what He reveals as the adventure continues. Thank you for your compassion and support.

  61. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers Julie. Joy is hard to grasp in the hand but abides in the heart forever.

  62. Thank you Kathryn. The story will continue.

  63. Heartbroken hearts are hearts that dared to love Constance. Love changes us, weakening our knees but strengthening our compassion at the same time.

  64. It is never a waste Jillian. Every life changes us. The parents learn and we grow. Thank you for your compassionate comment.

  65. We will continue to report what we see.

  66. I do not believe that nature is cruel, just broken. Thank you for sharing our grief.

  67. Thank you Terry. We love to tell the story of their triumphs and trials, but some trials are hard to share. Personally I do not see nature as ever cruel, just broken. God had intended it to act differently but in brokenness it fails at times.

  68. The parents are the saddest part of the whole tale Barbara. Today they sat together where Flyer had sat, waiting, searching and listening but unrewarded for their efforts.

  69. Struggles abound as do triumphs and trials. Life in the wild is raw but even in its rawness is beauty waiting to be revealed.

  70. Every visit to the Carillon nest we saw the dangers of man. We prayed that our eagle friends would be safe.
    RIP Spirit, Cindy, and now Little Flyer

  71. Therein lies the key Beth! Therein lies the victory! No life is wasted if it has touched others! No matter how long or short a living thing is present, the impact of its journey continues log after its life has parted. Our desire is to share its beauty and thereby enlarge its impact. That calling continues, as will the story, as will our posts. Thank you for sharing this burden.

  72. Oh my God, I’m speechless. Soar high and free, Flyer and keep watch over your family…❤

  73. I just saw the post about Flyer. This is so heartbreaking! Everyone was so happy on Friday to see Flyer come back, and now the totally opposite end to so much sadness. Thank you eaglejim for always keeping us updated. I know you are devastated. Fly high and free young Flyer! You will never be forgotten! ❤

  74. It just makes me sad….. I know death is hard. But it’s part of life. For our animals, birds, and for us humans…’s heartbreaking. But life does go on! For all of us….. with time, our hearts will be filled with love for new eagle babies. But we’ll always, always, remember these loved eagles whose lives are cut much too short. Fly high little one! In the safety of Gods heavens….. 😢😢😢

  75. I grew up in Dayton, class of 61 at Patterson Co-Op/Wilbur Wright. I never saw an eagle until I moved here to Vancouver, BC, Canada, now considered to be the Bald Eagle capital of the world.

    I am so blessed to see eagles daily as I volunteer full time for Hancock Wildlife Foundation, who was the originator of web cams in bald eagle nests.

    I know that Eastwood Park is nowhere near the Carillon in Deeds Park near I-75. Is this a different nest?

    Karen Bills
    Langley, BC

  76. Jim, I am deeply saddened by this news. It makes me think about what a triumph and miracle it is for eaglets to grow into adults and then parents themselves. I am also thinking about how following the parents and eaglets brought a lot of knowledge and respect for these beautiful birds of prey to hundreds of people. So many people have no idea that eagles live right here in Ohio. I will continue to look up and look forward to next early February when the cycle of life begins again. Thank you for chronicling the lives of Dayton Eagles.

  77. Jim Good Morning, Thank you for all the posts and pictures as they are very informative. I shared in the loss of Flyer and wanted to give you some good news. I was out at Ceasars Creek yesterday and witnessed 2 bald eagles protecting what appeared to be a juvenile female eagle and their nest near Pioneer village. I have become more knowledgeable due to your newsletter and many posts. It was awesome watching the adults circle the area and then finally the chirping female juvenile fly out and join them . All seem in very good health. Good Luck.

    Mark Mueller

    eaglejim posted: “My frequently used statement “Life in the wild is wild.” is not only used as just a statement. I often use it to prepare our hearts for the unpredictable twists of life in the wild. Triumphs and tragedy are often companions walking hand in hand in the wil”

  78. Dear Jim, My heart breaks for you to have to relay this information to us. I have delighted in the sharing of this young eagle couple’s story. I look forward to the coming years tales as well. My heart breaks for Orv and the mother, perhaps next years nest will be in a safer locale. But I do hope it is somewhere close so we can know about it and read about it. Fly high, little Flyer.

  79. So heartbreaking, so very sorry.

  80. As voyeurs into their wild lives, it is almost too much to bear sometimes. Thank you eaglejim for always being honest and open with us, even when your news causes heartbreak for us. Dorothy

  81. Challenges are everywhere Ron. Both of Jim and Hope’s 2018 eaglets are well though.

  82. Life is difficult for wild creatures as man-made threats increase Robin. I wonder if the new driverless vehicle technology detects wildlife. It seems like every new invention has unseen consequences.

  83. Thank you. Every close encounter with a wild creature changes us. Even in loss there is growth.

  84. As you know too well Opal, loss and its sadness are a part of life. The joy of a mountaintop experience is magnified by the depth of the valleys nearby. Both are necessary and purposeful. The valley forces us to face our need for God and for one another and the mountaintop gives us a clearer view of His abiding faithfulness.

  85. Thank you for your work at Hancock Karen. Either the male or the female of the pair at Carillon Park, on Dayton’s south border, may be offspring of the Eastwood pair on Dayton’s far east side. The Carillon pair appear to be 5 to 6 years old while Eastwood’s male is at least 15 by now.

  86. It is our pleasure Cynthia. I sometimes say that Dayton’s eagles are the best kept public secret in town. The story will continue as will our reports.

  87. Thanks for your kind words Mark. Caesar’s Creek has a healthy eagle presence. I was part of an Bald Eagle release there in early 2017 and spotted two other eagles on the lake that day. That is a good sized lake with room for even more!

  88. Thank you Susan. I believe that they will return to Carillon this fall or winter. Hopefully they will be a bit wiser due to this year’s experiences and maybe the youngsters fly away from the highway!

  89. Thank you Sherry. It is still wild out there.

  90. The story is not mine to write Dorothy. I am privileged to be able to share every twist and turn as they are revealed. I appreciate your appreciation of our efforts.

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