A Gathering of Bald Eagles

Amazing video from Alaska. I could have done with less human action, but still. 

Thanks to Dee for finding this.


Alfred Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands. 

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls. 


  1. Good choice of poem--"The Eagle" does not specify what bird it refers to, of course, but to my mind, given the setting, the white-tailed sea eagle is the most likely candidate. (Tennyson also translated an Old English poem, "The Battle of Brunanburh" which references the white-tailed as a battlefield scavenger.)

  2. I'll have to take a look at Tennyson's version. I only know Brunaburh from Burton Raffel's translation. And by "know", I mean "vaguely remember from college."

  3. Here's the eagle part from the Tennyson:

    Many a carcase they left to be carrion,
    Many a livid one, many a sallow-skin--
    Left for the white-tail'd eagle to tear it, and
    Left for the horny-nibb'd raven to rend it, and
    Gave to the garbaging war-hawk to gorge it, and
    That gray beast, the wolf of the weald.

    I'd sort of forgotten what a great ear Tennyson had when he stopped moping and got around to telling a story. Somehow his rendering of the Anglo-Saxon seems bolder, more innovative than the later (and, I imagine, more accurate) translation I've seen.

  4. "War-hawk" also is more literal than modern readers, used to simply thinking of hawks as shorthand for violence, might first suspect. Both the common buzzard and the red kite would have been present in the region where the battle takes place in medieval days, and these birds are well-attested as carrion feeders.


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