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Old 09-27-2010, 03:24 PM   #1
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We collided with a bird of prey

On the way home in our rig from the weekend late yesterday afternoon about 5:30 pm. A hawk swooped from somewhere high and right ,down and across our lane. I believe he felt the bow wave of our rig (Class C) or perhaps heard us. I saw him kinda look over his shoulder at us when he was bumper high and see his wings go to "panic up" attitudes..not even enough time to flap..the bird equivalent of a jump...odd that occured to me in the fraction of a second between his sudden wing change to rise and the thud of impact on the very top left of the rig. He almost made it.
I saw him tumble to ground in the rearview. He was a beautiful bird, good size, his wingspread perhaps 3-4 ft or so.
DW and I were stunned for a bit..neither of us had hit a bird of that size. It occurs we don't often, in cars, hit birds much anymore..seems it was more frequent back in the day. Perhaps aerodynamics. Not much aerodynamicly sleek of our rig. We talked a bit of what a pity it was for the bird to die. We often see birds of prey perched alongside roads, the center grass strips and berms provide cover for their prey, but had never seen one try to strike in traffic before.
We were grateful it was not a deer. We would not have been saddened if it were a deer, but mad as hell. We have too many deer and not enough majestic birds of prey.

I know many folks who have hit a deer and quite a few that have been hit in the sides by deer. Local news story this summer of a guy on a motorcycle hit and killed by a leaping deer. I know a lady who hit a black bear in PA...she would have rather hit a deer. I've heard moose do the most damage. I've seen signs in some areas to be aware of rock slides..never knew anyone who was hit by a rockslide though.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:49 PM   #2
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I have seen a couple of posts on RVer's Blogs describing the result of hitting a wild turkey taking out the windshield. Sorry for your experience, but it could have been far worst...
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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I had a near-miss about 30 years ago, sure glad the bird evaded my truck, as I did not react quickly, just stared in amazement at this huge bird coming straight at me. In Indiana killing a bird of prey, by any means, must be reported to DNR.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX,Infantry retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:19 PM   #4
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Two years ago, driving between Grand Junction and Delta, Colorado, we had a near miss with a Golden Eagle. The bird had at least a 4 ft. wing span and, as he went over our car, he clipped an amature radio anntena I had on the roof with a mag mount. Ruined the anntena but didn't seem to slow that bird down at all. He was absolutly hugh!
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:21 PM   #5
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Rats! Amature should be spelled Amateur.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
I had a near-miss about 30 years ago, sure glad the bird evaded my truck, as I did not react quickly, just stared in amazement at this huge bird coming straight at me. In Indiana killing a bird of prey, by any means, must be reported to DNR.
Thank you Ray for the info re reporting to DNR. That had not occured to me. After reading your post I did call Indiana Fish & Wildlife office in Columbia City, which appeared to be the nearest location and reported the incident They told me an officer would retrieve the dead bird if he could. I gave them an accurate location.

While in the process of trying to find the appropriate agency I was on the state DNR site for Fish and Wildlife..I was not aware Indiana was reintroducing so many birds of prey. Very cool.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:51 AM   #7
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Let me try to lighten up the thread just a little. A couple of years ago I was driving my pick up on the Naval Base at Little Creek, VA when I watched a beautiful red hawk come screaming out of the sky and snatch a pigeon out of mid air only to smash into the side of a panel van traveling in front of me. That hawk put a huge dent in the side of the van, fell to the road but never let go of the pigeon. I stopped short and was going to get out and move the seemingly dead birds when the hawk stood up shook his head a couple of times and I swear looked around as if too say "did anybody see that stupid stunt" and flew off with his lunch still in talon. It still amazes me to this moment that the hawk survived and the look on his face(?) still makes me laugh.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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You guys probably already know this but here goes....
If you are unfortunate enough to hit a deer and it causes any damage to your vehicle be sure to call the highway patrol and get an accident report from him concerning damage to your vehicle. Here in NC this is a ''must do'' if you expect your insurance to pay for the damages. I ''did one'' with my Classic Tiffany and it did some three thousand dollars worth of damage to the side of my car. My agent told me that if I had not gotten a accident report from the High Way Patrol on this that the insurance company would have denied the claim........

God bless our troops and bring them home safe and very soon ..........
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:06 PM   #9
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Speaking of flying creatures, we hit something the other day - I never saw what it was - that splattered the windshield in a huge pattern, maybe 6-8 inches across. If it was a bug, it had to have been as big as a flying rat. Nasty looking splatter. Glad I was not on the Harley and got hit like that.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:31 AM   #10
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There are two crows that became a warm meal for their friends a while back - they were dining on an earlier centerline dish while I was driving up, flew off as I got closer. Then one evidently decided that I was doing to flatten it a bit more, swooped down to pull it off the road. Another crow, apparently upset that his part of the meal was being 'jacked' decided to contest the first crow's decision. Bad choice - got 'em both with the F150 I was driving. Damages to the truck - an $11 license plate frame. The damage to the crows - totaled

Then there was Bambi in May on I-87 and trying to damage my F350......didn't happen

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Old 09-30-2010, 12:28 PM   #11
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Just missed a great big old Owl last year while driving on highway 140 in south east Oregon. Was watching for deer when my passenger started yelling, "owl, Owl!" I look up to the right to see an owl just miss the cabover of the camper.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:27 PM   #12
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we should say that any animal hit us not that we hit them.

We recently had a buzzard fly up from the side of the road and flew into our windshield about where the rear view mirror is mounted. We were doing 65 and DW was driving. Suprising we had no damage but the buzzard did not fair so luckily. Vehicle was a 2008 Ford 350.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:25 PM   #13
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Traveling west across the Yucatan Peninsula in a rented Jeep with the top off. This car had TOURIST written on it in big red letters. It might have said AVIS but it is essentially the same thing. We chose to take the Cuota or toll road because of the lack of decisions and fewer obstacles. We were frequently amazed at the appearance a person pedaling a three wheeled vehicle (two wheels in front) along the shoulder seemingly in the total middle of nowhere. I have since looked at maps and Google Earth and there is nothing there. So here we were heading across the scrubby 20 foot tall forest at about 120. In American that's about 72. We had the road pretty much to ourselves. In the distance ahead we could see moving objects in the curb lane. Whatever it was seemed to be hopping back and forth across that half of the highway. As we approached the scene it became evident that the animals directly in our path were birds. Big birds. They were having a feast on some kind of road kill. P was looking off into the distance at this vulture buffet as I moved over to the passing lane to avoid the mess. We were still about a half mile away when one of these primitive bastards decided to take flight. The biggest one hopped a few times toward us, flapped his 6 foot wingspan once, twice and began veering into our lane. The other creatures had stopped eating to watch their giant friend take off. WHAM. We clobbered him. He rolled across the windshield and blew up and over the jeep. She ducked, I already had my head down by the steering wheel. We were both trying to avoid a red shower of blood and guts. The whooshing sound of feathers blowing the wrong way and screeching claws like chalk on a slate assaulted our ears. She turned to watch the carnage on the road behind us while I looked in the mirrors. The other birds wasted no time splitting into two groups. They were feeding on our boy before he even stopped rolling. One wiper was a little bent. That's it, one bent wiper arm. One recycled vulture. We were not covered by half digested offal upon which they had been feeding or the resulting excrement which should have been exponentially worse than any seagull guano. No spray of ultra fine blood particles resultant from our high speed collision on our clothes, up our noses, on our teeth and RayBan sunglasses. Easy Peasy. Just keep going, pressing on across the flat limestone based gnarled jungle towards the site of the meteor impact that assassinated all the dominate species on the planet millions of years ago and toward a big, frozen drink with fresh fruit and a cherry enjoyed under the thatched roof of a Mexican beach bar.
Story here
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:04 PM   #14
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Well okay, a giant Mexican Vulture isn't actually a bird of prey. But it is prey adjacent.

Story here
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