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H Is for Hawk: A New Chapter - Natural World
E7 of 8
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Cambridge academic Helen Macdonald, overwhelmed with grief after the sudden death of her photojournalist father Alisdair, spent a year training a goshawk.
She later wrote about this cathartic time in a bestselling, award-winning book, H Is for Hawk. Her goshawk Mabel later died of a disease and in this lyrical, touching documentary, first shown in 2017, we follow Macdonald as she decides the time is right to choose and train another young goshawk.
Macdonald’s love for hawks wasn’t sudden or new. She adored them throughout her childhood, she even tried sleeping with her arms behind her back like wings, and she became an accomplished falconer. There’s something quietly beautiful about watching her absolute stillness and concentration as she meets her new bird for the first time. “I love her to bits, I’m really glad to share my life with her.”
Macdonald also joins experts in a Gloucestershire forest to look at a new nest of baby goshawks.
Author Helen Macdonald returns to the world of the goshawk, a bird she first wrote about in her best-selling 2014 memoir H Is for Hawk, a book originally written to help get over the grief of losing her father. Here she trains a new bird and follows a wild goshawk family at the nest, and getting closer than ever before to these fiery-eyed birds of prey.
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Full Episode Guide
"I couldn’t tame grief, but I could tame a hawk" – Helen Macdonald talks her new BBC documentary
In a new BBC documentary, the author of H for Hawk explains how she became obsessed with training a goshawk following the death of her father
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