Iced Eagle Rescue on Lake Michigan

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, February 6, 2019
  • Some know that in my ‘spare time’, I volunteer at the raptor rehabilitation center in Empire … Wings of Wonder(WoW) …
    By fortune or misfortune, an eagle that somehow had the inconvenience of coming into contact with Lake Michigan during the recent polar vortex was in trouble. Finders had been watching 4 eagles eating something out on the edge of the ice. Three of the eagles eventually flew away but the fourth remained, and it was immediately apparent that something was wrong. So, they(the finders) contacted Wings of Wonder where I was holding down the fort while the director, Rebecca Lessard was making her own Polar Vortex sidestep by visiting her grand baby in Dallas, TX! I called volunteer Chris Johnson to see if he had some time open for a possible adventure and he bit!

    The accompanying video is a spotty story of the rescue and rehabilitation as I was there to rescue/assist and not to photo’g, but I couldn’t resist getting some clips when the timing was right and my help was not needed. The first segment I was wading amongst ice chunks, trying to keep my footing, an eye on the eagle/Chris and get some video ... sorry for the 'bobblyness'.

    The eagle was sitting on the edge of an ice shelf about 100 feet from shore. I donned insulated chest waders, a PFD and slowly plodded out into the water amongst the large floating ice blocks to corral the eagle with hopes that he would move towards shore where Chris was waiting with blanket and thick handling gloves.

    We were able to keep him on the shoreline ice and convinced him to go ashore so we could gather him(and his 8?” ball of tail ice) to take back to WoW to assist in the defrosting process. It worked and the only close casualty was the newfound leak in my waders ... at crotch level(of course) … luckily Chris was right where he needed to be and had the presence of mind to intercept the guy who seemingly was looking for an assist at the same time we were offering one!

    Getting the eagle back to WoW, we set him up over night in a crate near a heat vent hoping the freezerlings would let loose, but alas, the big one did not ... so, the next morning, Jim Manley joined the crew to help with the next step of ‘forced defrostation’ ... warm tap water directly applied to the ice ball.

    They were able to remove the ice beast and it was apparent he was pretty happy to have his discharge chute operating again as he was making up for lost time … with cleared out piping he gently accepted his first free meal very gently from forceps.

    Sunday morning the eagle was moved to the outside 100 foot flight pen where he finished his full recovery. He is flying perfectly, preening and certainly enjoying his daily free meals of rabbit, rat and fish dinners.

    Wings of Wonder is inviting the public to his release on Sunday, Feb 10th, 2019 at 4pm, from the Suttons Bay High School parking lot, 500 South Elm Street, Suttons Bay. The release was a grand success! you can see it here:

    Many thanks to the following:

    Wings of Wonder:
    donate/support WoW:
    facebook: /Wings-of-Wonder-105315512891121/

    Chris Johnson: rescuer
    Ken Scott: rescuer
    Jim Manley: eagle bather
    Ken Scott Photography: video

    "Perspectives" Kevin MacLeod (
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

    Ken Scott Photography:
    fb: /KenScottPhotos/

    Shot hand held with an iPhone7+
    Moment battery case:
    Edited in iMovie 9

    video clip date/id: 201902-WowEagleRescue2fin


  • Shoegum
    Shoegum  an hour ago

    5:16 Brave man to do w/o gloves, just look at that beak

  • Reginald House
    Reginald House  2 hours ago

    I wouldn't go after a pigeon with that rag, let alone that huge thing

  • John Thorne
    John Thorne  2 hours ago

    I rescued an iced vodka last night.
    Then several more.
    Then I basically flew around the room on Wings of Wonder.

  • C R
    C R  3 hours ago

    The eagle was like "you can check out any time you want, but you can never leave."

  • Ruth Ferry
    Ruth Ferry  4 hours ago

    Thank you to all those who rescue and care for these incredibly beautiful and majestic animals. God bless

  • Prasanna Khakre
    Prasanna Khakre  13 hours ago

    Very Happy to see the wonderful recovery!

  • Jan Olinyk
    Jan Olinyk  14 hours ago

    Awesome guys who rescued this eagle. Did they ever release it to the wild?

  • Denise Roberts
    Denise Roberts  19 hours ago

    Where I live we are very lucky to see these beautiful birds ,I'm glad their are people able to help them in times of need like this ! ,😅😊

  • Soup GDWinney
    Soup GDWinney  22 hours ago

    You know, sometimes I look at how insane this world as become, and how insensitive and uncaring we can be at all to often. But there's a reason why God calls us his children, and it's because of people like these two, that shows me there is still some good and there is still love and hope here as well. That was very inspiring to watch. You guys did an excellent selfless act of pure kindness. Thanks for making my day, and that beautiful eagles day too, I'm sure!

    But, as always, that's just my opinion! :))

  • Эл Зверев

    Дык чё? Фраерок то выжил?

  • James Harber
    James Harber  yesterday

    Thank YOU!

  • Mookie Spindlehurst

    Edwin Curran

    The dome of heaven is thy house, oh bird of the mighty wing! The silver
    stars are as thy boughs around thee circling. Thy perch is on the eaves of heaven, thy white throne all
    the skies. Thou art like lighting
    driven, flashing
    o'er paradise!

    [Edited by Milton Moore, January 24, 2020, Las Vegas, Nevada]

  • Nolan Beatrolyn

    The dingle berry from hell, just think... his balls are probably frozen into that clump.

  • Shivbharti Pasi

    Well done

  • Mookie Spindlehurst

    Why was the part edited that must have shown the moments precedeeding the part where the eagle has been subdued and rescued?😆 That would have been very interesting. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the video.

  • justagirl NV
    justagirl NV  yesterday

    Watching him take flight is beautiful.

  • George Sealy
    George Sealy  yesterday

    Eagles like fish. So he was probably fishing and the water continued to build up and freeze over time. Next thing you know it's so heavy he can't fly. He would have starved to death without help. Good going people.

  • Rolo Rolo
    Rolo Rolo  yesterday

    I'm glad people were there to help.

  • Buy Last
    Buy Last  2 days ago

    I LOVE HOW GENTLE THE MEN ARE WITH THE STUNNING EAGLE!  I can't believe they didn't have gloves on when letting the warm water pour down on him/her.  I know they needed their hands to be bare, but thank heavens, the Eagle didn't strike.  GOD BLESS EVERYONE INVOLVED FOR SAVING THIS PRECIOUS SOUL!!

  • Lelibela Shabakabel

    Restored my hope in humanity,us humans can be truly amazing at times.Thank you from the Eagal family.