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Why are so many dead owls being found along this Idaho interstate?

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Why are so many dead owls being found along this Idaho interstate?

Dozens of dead owls have been reported by drivers along Interstate 84 in southern Idaho, making for an eerie stretch of road.

I saw a bird on the side of the road. I thought it was a chicken. But then we saw more and I saw the stripes on the feathers and it was not a chicken.
Nichole Miller

Nichole Miller and Christina White of Boise were driving home to Boise from Twin Falls last weekend when they spotted some road kill along the interstate. It was an owl. And it wasn't the only one.

dead owls on I-84.gif

Miller said she and White lost count after spotting more than 50 dead owls on a 20-mile stretch near Jerome. "There was more and more and more," Miller said.


Idaho Fish and Game told KBOI 2News on Monday that they're aware of the dead owls. So, what the heck is going on? 

It's a simple explanation, and it's not a terribly uncommon occurrence, said Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler. He said hungry owls are becoming road kill when they target mice along the interstate. It's a dangerous situation for the owls when vehicles are traveling 85 miles per hour.

It almost looks like they fell from the sky.
Nichole Miller

It's unclear how many owls have been killed along the road.

A Boise State student recently published a thesis study on the dead owls in southern Idaho for the Raptor Research Center and called it "one of the world’s highest roadway mortality rates for barn owls."


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