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WESTERLYâ€”A Red Tail Hawk which was badly injured at the Johnston Landfill is almost at a full recovery, according to officials involved in its rehabilitation. Phoenix, as the bird is aptly named, was severely burned last fall when it flew into methane flares from stacks at the Johnston Landfill.
â€śWhen he came in, all his feathers were burned,â€ť said Arianna Mouradjian, director of the Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island in Saunderstown. â€śBecause almost all his feathers were burned, there wasnâ€™t an option to do imping, a process where you take stored feathers and can [then] implant a fresh feather.â€ť
â€śBecause his damage was so expansive, we had to wait for him to molt, which had to take a year,â€ť she added.
Now, with his first full molt almost complete and a fresh layer of feathers growing, Phoenix is beginning to take his first steps towards flying in his new 40-foot cage at the Born To Be Wild Nature Center (BTBW) in Westerly. On Monday, the hawk flew the entire length of the cage, a first in his rehabilitation according to caretaker and owner of BTBW, John Maxson.
For more of this story pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.