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RE: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5

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  • Nick Freeman
    ... From: Rich Stallcup Sent: May 15, 2012 1:13 PM To: Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt , Nick & Mary Freeman Cc: Nancy Kenyon , Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 13 , May 15, 2012
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      -----Original Message-----

      From: Rich Stallcup

      Sent: May 15, 2012 1:13 PM

      To: Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt , Nick & Mary Freeman

      Cc: Nancy Kenyon , "Calbirds@yahoogroups.com"

      Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5





      Hi

      Nick and I have also witnessed a number of dead Barn Owls in the Salton Sea area. Now, if grain is dropped from the trucks, I would think the wind caused by speeding cars would blow it off the pavement and to the sides of the road. Interesting factor in avian road fatalities. Water tends to collect alongside the sides of highways. This is evidenced by the profusion of flowers growing on the side of the highway. Heading up to the Owens Vally in the springtime on highway 395, wildflowers on the side of road is a delightful spring occurrence. So if vegetation grows thick along the side of the road, imagine how that would and could attract rodents. During an owl prowl on the Angeles Crest Highway, we watched and stopped as a Great-horned Owl made a lift-off from the side of the road as he was carrying a woodrat in its talons and lucky for that owl, we came along and waited as he flew over the road. We also drive the desert roads on warm nights in search of herps and we frequently see kangaroo rats in the vegetation alongside the road. I've seen a few dead raptors alongside freeway off/onramps and I'm sure they are focused on a meal and then become victims themselves. But it happens, Barn Owls seem to be highest fatalities on that stretch of the road and other areas where ag fields exist.

      Mary Freeman
      Glendale, CA


      This owl mortality along I-5 has been going on for decadesand we always understood that the cause was uncovered truckloads of grain. The grain blows off the speeding trucksand onto the roadbed thus attracting inordinate numbersof rodents. That attracts the owls which, in turn are wackedby the next trucks. This part of the problem CAN be fixed by diligent campaigningto seal loads of grain. From: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt
      Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:51 AM
      To: Nick & Mary Freeman
      Cc: Nancy Kenyon; Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5 Add Burrowing owls - smaller brown and blend into the sub-straight therefore easy to miss.

      SallyWalters & DonSchmoldt
      Sacramento County, Ca
      BajaOwl@...
    • Doug Shaw
      Hi Rich and All, I have seen the CHP pull over main big rigs for uncovered gravel loads, etc... I would assume they would do the same with grain as that can be
      Message 2 of 13 , May 15, 2012
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        Hi Rich and All,

        I have seen the CHP pull over main big rigs for uncovered gravel loads, etc... I would assume they would do the same with grain as that can be a road hazard to other drivers. I have called CHP acouple of times about local road hazards and they are always quick to respond. CHP considers road hazards a 911 call so we can use call boxes if we which to stop and report trucks with loose uncovered grain to hopefully slow down this issue. If enough truckers are sited with loose loads maybe the word will get around .....

        Good Birding,

        Doug Shaw
        Santa Rosa, CA


        From: Rich Stallcup
        Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 1:13 PM
        To: Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt ; Nick & Mary Freeman
        Cc: Nancy Kenyon ; Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5



        This owl mortality along I-5 has been going on for decades
        and we always understood that the cause was uncovered
        truckloads of grain.

        The grain blows off the speeding trucks
        and onto the roadbed thus attracting inordinate numbers
        of rodents. That attracts the owls which, in turn are wacked
        by the next trucks.

        This part of the problem CAN be fixed by diligent campaigning
        to seal loads of grain.

        From: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt
        Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:51 AM
        To: Nick & Mary Freeman
        Cc: Nancy Kenyon; Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5

        Add Burrowing owls - smaller brown and blend into the sub-straight therefore easy to miss.

        SallyWalters & DonSchmoldt
        Sacramento County, Ca
        BajaOwl@...<mailto:BajaOwl%40Gmail.com>

        On May 15, 2012, at 12:14 AM, Nick & Mary Freeman wrote:

        > Hi Birders
        >
        > When we've traveled the I5 north (especially the central valley), Barn Owls are the most commonly seen road kills along the route. The rodent population in these fields are rich and is the case, the owls are too focused after their prey and frequently fall victims to speeding car encounters. The bright lights at night may cause the owls to become confused with high speeding cars and sadly, are killed. As may be the case, there may likely be a spike in the rodent population with a breeding season thus - more owls in the hunt mode. Short-eared owls may be other victims along the interstate as they also frequent open fields alongside the roadway.
        >
        > Mary Freeman
        > Glendale, CA
        >

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jon
        There is more to it than loose grain loads. Jon Winter ... From: Doug Shaw Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:53 PM To: Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt ; Nick & Mary
        Message 3 of 13 , May 15, 2012
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          There is more to it than loose grain loads.

          Jon Winter

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Doug Shaw
          Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:53 PM
          To: Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt ; Nick & Mary Freeman ; Rich Stallcup
          Cc: Nancy Kenyon ; Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5

          Hi Rich and All,

          I have seen the CHP pull over main big rigs for uncovered gravel loads,
          etc... I would assume they would do the same with grain as that can be a
          road hazard to other drivers. I have called CHP acouple of times about
          local road hazards and they are always quick to respond. CHP considers road
          hazards a 911 call so we can use call boxes if we which to stop and report
          trucks with loose uncovered grain to hopefully slow down this issue. If
          enough truckers are sited with loose loads maybe the word will get around
          .....

          Good Birding,

          Doug Shaw
          Santa Rosa, CA


          From: Rich Stallcup
          Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 1:13 PM
          To: Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt ; Nick & Mary Freeman
          Cc: Nancy Kenyon ; Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5



          This owl mortality along I-5 has been going on for decades
          and we always understood that the cause was uncovered
          truckloads of grain.

          The grain blows off the speeding trucks
          and onto the roadbed thus attracting inordinate numbers
          of rodents. That attracts the owls which, in turn are wacked
          by the next trucks.

          This part of the problem CAN be fixed by diligent campaigning
          to seal loads of grain.

          From: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          Of Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt
          Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:51 AM
          To: Nick & Mary Freeman
          Cc: Nancy Kenyon; Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5

          Add Burrowing owls - smaller brown and blend into the sub-straight therefore
          easy to miss.

          SallyWalters & DonSchmoldt
          Sacramento County, Ca
          BajaOwl@...<mailto:BajaOwl%40Gmail.com>

          On May 15, 2012, at 12:14 AM, Nick & Mary Freeman wrote:

          > Hi Birders
          >
          > When we've traveled the I5 north (especially the central valley), Barn
          > Owls are the most commonly seen road kills along the route. The rodent
          > population in these fields are rich and is the case, the owls are too
          > focused after their prey and frequently fall victims to speeding car
          > encounters. The bright lights at night may cause the owls to become
          > confused with high speeding cars and sadly, are killed. As may be the
          > case, there may likely be a spike in the rodent population with a breeding
          > season thus - more owls in the hunt mode. Short-eared owls may be other
          > victims along the interstate as they also frequent open fields alongside
          > the roadway.
          >
          > Mary Freeman
          > Glendale, CA
          >

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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        • Zachary Smith
          I remember an NPR story a few years ago about some road mortality research going on in Idaho. Interesting if nothing else. Lo and behold, I found it. Linked
          Message 4 of 13 , May 15, 2012
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            I remember an NPR story a few years ago about some road mortality research
            going on in Idaho. Interesting if nothing else. Lo and behold, I found it.
            Linked here:

            http://www.prx.org/pieces/23188-the-mysterious-death-of-the-barn-owl

            Zach Smith
            Davis, Ca.

            On Tue, May 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM, Jon <wint@...> wrote:

            > **
            >
            >
            > There is more to it than loose grain loads.
            >
            > Jon Winter
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Doug Shaw
            > Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:53 PM
            > To: Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt ; Nick & Mary Freeman ; Rich Stallcup
            > Cc: Nancy Kenyon ; Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5
            >
            > Hi Rich and All,
            >
            > I have seen the CHP pull over main big rigs for uncovered gravel loads,
            > etc... I would assume they would do the same with grain as that can be a
            > road hazard to other drivers. I have called CHP acouple of times about
            > local road hazards and they are always quick to respond. CHP considers
            > road
            > hazards a 911 call so we can use call boxes if we which to stop and report
            > trucks with loose uncovered grain to hopefully slow down this issue. If
            > enough truckers are sited with loose loads maybe the word will get around
            > .....
            >
            > Good Birding,
            >
            > Doug Shaw
            > Santa Rosa, CA
            >
            > From: Rich Stallcup
            > Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 1:13 PM
            > To: Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt ; Nick & Mary Freeman
            > Cc: Nancy Kenyon ; Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5
            >
            > This owl mortality along I-5 has been going on for decades
            > and we always understood that the cause was uncovered
            > truckloads of grain.
            >
            > The grain blows off the speeding trucks
            > and onto the roadbed thus attracting inordinate numbers
            > of rodents. That attracts the owls which, in turn are wacked
            > by the next trucks.
            >
            > This part of the problem CAN be fixed by diligent campaigning
            > to seal loads of grain.
            >
            > From: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com] On
            > Behalf
            > Of Sally Walters & Don Schmoldt
            > Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:51 AM
            > To: Nick & Mary Freeman
            > Cc: Nancy Kenyon; Calbirds@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Dead Owls(?) on I-5
            >
            > Add Burrowing owls - smaller brown and blend into the sub-straight
            > therefore
            > easy to miss.
            >
            > SallyWalters & DonSchmoldt
            > Sacramento County, Ca
            > BajaOwl@...<mailto:BajaOwl%40Gmail.com>
            >
            > On May 15, 2012, at 12:14 AM, Nick & Mary Freeman wrote:
            >
            > > Hi Birders
            > >
            > > When we've traveled the I5 north (especially the central valley), Barn
            > > Owls are the most commonly seen road kills along the route. The rodent
            > > population in these fields are rich and is the case, the owls are too
            > > focused after their prey and frequently fall victims to speeding car
            > > encounters. The bright lights at night may cause the owls to become
            > > confused with high speeding cars and sadly, are killed. As may be the
            > > case, there may likely be a spike in the rodent population with a
            > breeding
            > > season thus - more owls in the hunt mode. Short-eared owls may be other
            > > victims along the interstate as they also frequent open fields alongside
            > > the roadway.
            > >
            > > Mary Freeman
            > > Glendale, CA
            > >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
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            >
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            > Membership and set your mail option to No Email. Or, send a blank email to
            > these addresses:
            > Turn off email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-nomail@yahoogroups.com
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            >
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            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Christopher Stevenson
            I work for Caltrans in Los Angeles. The maintenance div. is most likely people to know more as they handled any roadkills, and in some areas they report this
            Message 5 of 13 , May 18, 2012
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              I work for Caltrans in Los Angeles. The maintenance div. is most likely people to know more as they handled any roadkills, and in some areas they report this data to wildlife agencies.
              I will forward this to the central valley district t see if they can help or have any insight.

              Christopher Stevenson
              CT Biologist.
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