SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- The American symbol of freedom found itself fighting for its own life on Tuesday.

A bald eagle was grounded along the waters of Pine Lake. A possible mate, perhaps confused, kept watch nearby.

Neighbors rushed to free the frantic bird, which had gotten tangled up in a rope hooked to a dock. The eagle appeared anxious.

That's when Tim Brown stepped in to work his magic.

Brown, a raptor bird specialist, whistled what he calls "an eagle song," and apparently the big bird found comfort in that, if not a bit confused by the sounds. Brown ever so gently draped a blanket over the eagle's head.

"When you hood a bird or put (something) over their eyes or so forth, they calm right down," Brown said. "See how the bird is listening to our voices? Calmed down."

It took a few minutes to unwind the rope that had tightened around one of the eagle's talons, but the bird let Brown work it out.

"Hey buddy, sorry you're all wet there," Brown said.

A dead duck was found in the eagle's grasp, apparently its dinner for the night.

"That grip there -- they're very powerful," said Brown.