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England’s only golden eagle has once again started his springtime efforts to find a mate. Lately the Lake District’s golden eagle has been seen ‘sky dancing’ – launching himself from his rocky perch high above the valley, then diving steeply and descending deep into the valley – a quite breathtaking display. This beautiful bird has been alone since 2004 when his previous mate died. Every spring in and around his nesting territory at Haweswater in the remote Mardale Valley, this solitary bird engages in display behaviour in the hopes of enticing a female to join him. Unfortunately the nearest female golden eagles are in the north of Scotland and there would seem to be little hope of a female seeing his wonderful displays from such a distance despite the fantastic eyesight that these eagles have. A plan is being considered to introduce a female eaglet into the Lake District in the hopes that they will get together to form a breeding pair, so that once again Cumbria will become home to a population of these magnificent birds. A visit to the wonderfully remote area around Haweswater will be a delight even if the golden eagle is away for the day – its territory can extend to some 150 square kilometers! [column col=”2/3″] The eagle can sometimes be seen by hikers making their way along the famous old Roman road of High Street which was built to connect the forts near Penrith and at Ambleside. High Street, as the name suggests, runs along the high ridges of the fells giving stunning views over the Lake District, and the eagle has often been seen in the valleys around High Street. Some 10 miles to the northeast of Haweswater is a place where you can be sure to see birds of prey. The Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre is situated 1/4 mile from the entrance to Lowther Castle in the grounds of a walled garden and is surrounded by unspoilt parkland. Here you can see over 150 falcons, hawks, eagles, buzzards and owls from this country and abroad, and these delightful surroundings are a perfect backdrop to flying demonstrations when the birds are displayed and flown in the sport of falconry.The birds are flown daily from 2pm until 4pm, weather permitting, a rare chance to see these magnificent birds flown free. Another place to see birds of prey is at Muncaster World Owl Centre in the south of the Lake District. Here the headquarters of World Owl Trust cares for one of the finest and largest owl collections in the world with over 50 species of owls from the tiny Pygmy owl to the huge European Eagle owl. This registered charity is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading owl conservation organisation. Large and small, fierce and friendly, beautiful and strange, owls are wonders of wildlife. Here you can see them close up and there are flying displays too. [/column] [column col=”1/3″ last=”true”] news-lake-district-golden-eagle-seeks-mate-01 Muncaster World Owl Centre [/column] news-lake-district-golden-eagle-seeks-mate-02 Muncaster Castle For more information on places to visit in the Lake District click here