Bald eagle found tangled in Ann Arbor’s Argo Park released back into wild

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, a bald eagle lands in a tree overlooking the Des Moines River in Des Moines, Iowa. The number of American bald eagles has quadrupled since 2009, with more than 300,000 birds soaring over the lower 48 states, government scientists said Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in a new report. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File) (Charlie Neibergall, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A popular American bald eagle found tangled in fishing line a few weeks ago at Ann Arbor’s Argo Park has been released back into the city.

Named Fred, the eagle was recently released to rejoin his mate “Marge.” The pair have lived in Ann Arbor since 2015 and have raised 10 eaglets together, the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) said.

The two are well-known to fans of a live Ann Arbor nest cam, who reportedly became concerned when Fred when missing.

He has found dangling upside down tangled in fishing line and tied to a branch hanging over the Huron River. The branch was 4 feet from the shore and 1 foot over the river, HSHV said.

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

A call was made to HSHV by “a Good Samaritan,” according to the organization, which then sent rescue officers.

“He was still tangled up, and many of his feathers had been broken,” said HSHV Rescue Field Agent Michael Shivak in a release. “Thankfully, with our veterinarians’ help, we were able to remove the rest of the fishing line from the bird who, luckily, didn’t suffer a major break in either of his wings.”

After being rescued, Fred was checked for injuries and transferred to Howell Nature Center for treatment and to test his ability to fly.

He was released about a mile away from his nest and has reunited with his family, HSHV said.

Check out a video of Fred’s release:

“We see way too many wild animals injured and killed by improperly disposed of fishing gear every year,” said Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV CEO.

“It’s sad and, honestly, quite frustrating. This majestic Bald Eagle and beloved wild neighbor, with his lifelong mate and two young eaglets, serves as a very important reminder that littering is not just illegal, but also inhumane. Enjoying nature also means respecting nature. If you fish, please do so responsibly. Consult with the DNR about how to properly dispose of fishing gear, and encourage friends and family to do the same.”

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.

Community members who see a sick or injured wild animal in Washtenaw County should call the HSHV Animal Rescue Line at 734-661-3512. Learn about HSHV’s wildlife services at

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.