Have you ever seen a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) on the side of the road? Or a Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) eating from a carcass on the side of the road? Some raptors are scavengers, including Bald Eagles, Turkey and Black Vultures. Ever wonder why they are proned to getting hit by cars as they feast?
Eagles and Vultures are huge birds, with wingspans between 5 and 6 feet. It takes a lot of power to get up and get going when you are on the ground. Add wind effects, cars flying by, the weight of the meal if they are trying to fly with it and pretty soon you have a Eagle or Vulture that can't fly as well as they thought they could, and a driver not expecting this slow moving, huge bird to take off right in front of them. We were so proud of the hero citizen who accidently hit our Bald Eagle last week, turned around to check on her, called her in to two different groups (Cape Fear Raptor Center being one of them), and met with our volunteer to get her to safety. Its easy to keep on going and "forget" you heard that thump. But this kind man stood up for our national bird and stayed with her until help was found and she was safe. Because of his quick response and effort, she has had surgery and is healing very well! Thank you sir!