Ann Arbor, MI (May 21, 2021) — Dangling upside down, entangled in a mass of fishing line which tied him to a branch hanging over Huron River, about 4 feet from shore and 1 foot from water, a Bald Eagle needed rescuing. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan called the Humane Society of Huron Valley’s (HSHV) wildlife rescue line Saturday.

“He was still tangled up, and many of his feathers had been broken,” says Michael Shivak, HSHV Rescue Field Agent. “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.”

The eagle was transferred to Howell Nature Center (HNC) wildlife rehabilitation center, where he was treated for his injuries.

The bird, affectionately known as “Fred” has lived in Ann Arbor with his mate “Marge” since 2015. They’ve raised 10 eaglets since then: “Downey” and “Fleece” (2016), “Belle (2017), “Orville” and “Wilbur” (2018), “Pearl” (2019), “Pappy” and “Winkle” (2020), and most recently “Flora” and “Neon” (2021), according to area fans who have a live web cam of the family:

After testing his ability to fly, HNC together with HSHV released Fred (see the video), about a mile from his nest.

To everyone’s joy and relief, he’s since been spotted back with his family.

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

If you see a sick or injured wild animal in Washtenaw County please call HSHV’s 24/7/365 Animal Rescue Line at 734.661-3512. And find out more about helping our wild neighbors and HSHV’s wildlife services at