Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

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The carnage along I-5

While driving up to FC last week I noticed something highly disturbing. Starting around Bakersfield all the way up to Los Banos I noticed a lot of dead birds along the roadway. From the few that weren't mangled beyond recognition I could see that they were raptors, mainly hawks and owls. At first I noticed one or 2, but the number just kept getting bigger until I really started concentrating intensely on the sides of the road (which isn't all that easy doing 70+ on the 5). The number or carcasses just sickened me! On the way home I decided to actually count the number of large dead birds observed along the side of the southbound lanes. From Los Banos to Bakersfield we counted just over 100 dead birds. It looked like the highway department had recently cleaned a section of the highway so the actual number could have been significantly higher.

I wondered if anyone has done a study on the mortality of raptors along that stretch of road. It's perfect habitat for them. I noticed several just sitting on top of billboards and poles scanning the ground for tasty rodents. Many probably wait for an unsuspecting critter to get smacked by a car and then swoop in to claim the carcass. Unfortunately the raptor might also wind up getting smacked. This was just one little bit of sadness on an otherwise very happy trip.
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