At South Jersey’s Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, it’s not unusual for critters of all shapes and sizes to be brought in with scary injuries – or unusual stories about how they were injured. One red-tailed hawk who suffered an unexpected burn is one of the refuge’s most recent cases.

Cedar Run took in the battered and burnt hawk last November, after the hawk’s feathers had been singed by methane flames at a landfill. Unable to fly because of its burns, the hawk fell from the sky and was then hit by a car. The helpless hawk laid on the ground for several days before being rescued and taken to Cedar Run.

Lori Swanson’s, the refuge’s director of wildlife rehabilitation, helped nurse the emaciated and dehydrated hawk back to health and says the type of injury it suffered is actually quite common.

“The flames are clear,” she explains, “so birds often fly through them without knowing they’re there.”

Swanson says that once a bird’s feathers have been singed, it’s difficult for it to fly or hunt. After some TLC from Cedar Run (and waiting for the hawk’s new feathers to grow in), the hawk was successfully released back into the wild this week.

Check out the cool video below:

Release of red tail hawk at Smithville park

CBS channel 3 will feature Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge's Animal Release tonight at 4 & 5pm TUNE IN TO WATCH!This red tail hawk whose feathers were singed by a methane flare at a local landfill. Want to know more? Go to for the full story!

Posted by Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday, August 7, 2018


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