Popular bald eagle rescued in Ann Arbor with help of Humane Society of Huron Valley

Raptor trapped in fishing line near Argo Park

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Last Saturday, an American bald eagle tangled in fishing line was rescued by rescue officers from the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) near Argo Park.

The fishing line was wrapped around the raptor’s wings trapping him upside-down to a tree above the water, HSHV said in a Facebook post.

“The eagle was essentially tied to the tree, suspended upside-down in the crook of its branches above the water. The more he had struggled, the more tangled he had become,” said HSHV. The rescue officer wrapped the eagle a towel and brought it to HSHV where veterinary staff removed the fishing line.

There were no breaks in the eagle’s wings and it was transported to the Howell Nature Center for additional veterinary care and rehabilitation.

The eagle, named Fred, his mate and their eaglet are popular due to an online nest cam. Fans became concerned when it went missing, said Howell Nature Center. The bird was located before permanent injuries could occur.

In a social media post, the Howell Nature Center said a veterinarian did another physical exam of Fred After rest, he will be moved to the center’s 100-foot flight pen to test his ability to fly. The nature center is one of the few facilities in Michigan that is licensed to rehabilitate bald eagles, it said.

Fred will be returned to Ann Arbor and released once he completes flight tests.

“He is expected to recover and be released back to his mate and eaglet soon,” said HSHV.

According to the Howell Nature Center, discarded fishing line is a major cause of death or injury in local wildlife. Learn about properly disposing of fishing line here.

Both the Humane Society of Huron Valley and Howell Nature Center are currently accepting donations to help them continue caring for wildlife and animals in need.

A previous version of this article reported the bird’s name as Henry. The HSHV has since released an update calling him Fred.

Here are a few photos of Fred:

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.