Events relayed and images provided by Jennifer:
I was walking my dog around the neighborhood lakes when I noticed the cardinal in distress. I couldn't figure out how to get him/her down myself, the branch was too far over the lake and too high. I called the Howard County non-emergency number and was referred to Judy [Holzman of All Creatures Great & Small Wildlife Center].
Then I used the internet to search for a way to get the bird down. I found the Cat in a Tree website, AND I located an arborist from Frederick, Mike Fried of Comprehensive Tree Care, who was willing to check it out. His son, Adam, was actually in my town, Columbia, so Mike asked him to swing by and assess the bird's situation. Adam reported that it was a tricky job, but Mike came over anyway, intent on saving the bird.
With Adam's help, Mike used ropes to safely climb the narrow and slippery tree. He was able to retrieve the little cardinal. Now that we had him down we could clearly see that a fishing lure had wrapped around the branch. The small ball looked just like a berry and must have attracted the bird. The cardinal's beak was impaled on the fishing hook. Mike used his tools to trim the hook and remove it from the beak. We put the bird in a shoe box I had prepared with a nice towel and extra air holes. I drove him over to Judy's house and she nursed him back to health!
Heartfelt appreciation to Mike and his son!
Comprehensive Tree Care, 301-922-6700, Frederick, MD
People who fish need to properly dispose of hooks, lines, bobbers and sinkers.