My first experience with an owl struck by vehicle was when working as  
a ranger on the Current River.  I had the challenging duty to pick up  
an injured, irate Barred Owl (wrapped it in the uniform jacket), as  
the first step to sending it (with paperwork) to rehab.

I've seen many owls dead on the road since.  Most have been Barred;  
but a few have been Eastern Screech.

Of course, we've all seen hawks, especially in winter, lured to the  
verges and medians of interstates, often with less than optimal  
results for the birds.

Other bird families are prone to auto/truck mishaps, especially in  
winter when flocks gather at roadsides in frozen landscapes.

I watched a Red-headed Woodpecker drop off a utility pole and fly  
directly into a birder's car passing slowly on the road.

The most startling day of seeing multiple struck birds was in  
northern Mississippi in early summer.  The victims were Northern  
Cardinals (all males).  There were at least 5 dead along a 5 mile  
stretch, and while driving that stretch, at least a dozen swooped in  
front of the car at grill level, going across the road.

Almost makes me want to rethink birding by car...well, almost.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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