HANFORD, Calif. (AP) — State wildlife officials have found 28 dead barn owls that were struck by cars along a highway in central California.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Peter Tira said Wednesday officers found the birds' carcasses this month on a two-mile stretch of Highway 41 in Kings County, near Stratford.

Tira says an investigation determined every predatory nocturnal bird had been hit by a vehicle along the road flanked by farm fields.

He says the raptors are attracted to the area because of a booming mice population.

Tira says barn owls hunt at night and are sweeping down the highway to grab their meal but are being hit by cars before they can carry it away.

He says officials are urging drivers to be alert at night, especially with wildlife.