The thing is, most people don't see them flying, as the ones that I've seen flying, fly completely silently. They have to actually catch your eye.
I've seen large owls flying between trees in the forest, and they maneuver between them perfectly, and lower than I expected them to.
Also, whenever we end up having to do an owl pick-up, when we rescue them, it's always at night.
Most of the owls that we've rehabbed were flying, and because it was dark, I guess, cars on the highway hit them.
Often, they are just stunned, and only need a few hours to a couple of days to recover. But, one of our rescues was here for months with a damaged eye.
The vet that works with the rescues had too many owls, and said that he would just be put down, so we kept him here. We ran the equivalent of a trot line - for fishing - with rodent traps. We decimated the rodent population for that period on time and had to put the traps farther away each day. Even a small owl can eat 3 rodents per night.
Eventually, the skunks caught on, and stole them out of the traps, and threatened to spray us for going near the traps. That took about 4 months. After that, we spoke to the rehab place here and they gave us frozen rodents, which the owl hated.
Eventually, it was time to release him, even though he didn't have perfect vision any longer. We heard him call when he was released, and every night from then on, so apparently, he did fine with his one good eye. I wasn't sure that would be the case, but was happy that it was.
Love All Life, Thank You For Posting! :)