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Why Are So Many Dead Owls Popping Up In Idaho?

Several dead owls were spotted alongside a highway in southern Idaho, according to (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dozens-of-dead-owls-showing-up-on-idaho-highway/) reports . Two Boise residents noticed dozens of birds during their ride home from Twin Falls over the weekend and told CBS News affiliate in Idaho Monday what they initially thought to be dead chickens turned out to be more than 50 dead Barn Owls.

Nichole Miller and Christina White said they lost count after tracking 50 owls during a 20-mile stretch of Idaho's Interstate-84.

"I saw a bird on the side of the road. I thought it was a chicken, but then we saw more [roadkill] and I saw the stripes on the feathers and it was not a chicken," Miller said. "It almost looks like they fell from the sky."

Although owls would seem to be unusual roadkill, the Idaho Fish and Game department (http://kboi2.com/news/local/why-are-dozens-of-dead-owls-showing-up-along-interstate-84) told CBS News Monday that sightings of dead owls near highways weren't all that uncommon. Idaho Fish and Game spokesman told KBOI 2 News Monday that the owls were more than likely killed by highway traffic when they swoop down to hunt mice along the Interstate, where the speed limit is 85 miles per hour.

The exact number of owls that have been killed along the road is unclear.

There are several owl species of owls are considered endangered due to environmental changes, including Barn Owls. Destruction of its natural habitat, which has made it harder for the owls to hunt and find food, is one of the biggest causes of endangerment, according to (http://www.owlworlds.com/owls-endangered/) OwlWorlds.com.

Along with Barn owls, Northern Spotted Owls, Mexican Spotted Owls and Snowy Owls are also currently listed as endangered. The site said changing farming methods and the use of harmful pesticides used to control grasshopper populations, which are also preyed upon by owls, could also be an implication of endangered owls throughout the U.S.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:1U8ID
Date:Feb 15, 2017
Words:328
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