If Audubon and the University of California can collect census through roadkills, then I can, too.
Recently, I covered over 6,000 miles of highway and back roads, traveling to and from Utah (twice) and then Maine and back. I saw a lot of wildlife, including mountain goats as I was crossing over Wolf Creek Pass.
Unfortunately, most of the mammals I saw were dead. As I joined the vehicular masses, I couldn’t help feeling that people come to view road kill with the same disconnection or compartmentalization as supermarket meat. “Those fleshy packages were once animals!” was what I wished highway billboards would say.
Of course, many animals adapt. I watched as a red tailed hawk dove straight down from a 80-foot-high street light to grab a mouse. It then ascended straight back up, too. Quite a feat.
Here’s the Special Cross Country Species Parade, 69 species.
White Tailed Deer
Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel
Red-Winged Black Bird
Red Shafted Flicker
Black Capped Chickadee
Great Blue Heron
Dark-Eyed Junco (and its many varieties)
Ringed Turtle Dove
Great Horned Owl
Rufous Sided Towhee