Joggers Beware: Toque Stealing Owl

February 6th, 2015

A Barred Owl at the MNRF Building in downtown Peterborough in Jaunary. Courtesy Jeff Bowman/Twitter @jeffcbowman

A Barred Owl at the MNRF Building in downtown Peterborough in Jaunary. Courtesy Jeff Bowman/Twitter @jeffcbowman

We’ve been hearing a lot about owls lately.

The Kawarthas (and much of the southern Ontario) has seen an influx of snowy owls during the last few months, and of course there was the infamous downtown Peterborough owl spotted in a tree at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry building in January. Now, it seems, joggers in Oregon have also had encounters with the winged creatures, encounters they won’t soon forget.

According to the Guardian, a Barred Owl in Salem, Oregon (coincidentally, the same species spotted at the MRNF building) has been causing a bit of a stir among joggers at a city park. Upon approaching the owl, the bird will swoop down from it’s perch and attack passersby, plucking the hats right from their heads. This has happened to four people within a few weeks.

Ron Jaecks was one such resident who lost his hat to the raptor according to the Statesman Journal.

“It was like a huge electric shock ran through my body, but also like I got hit in the head with a two-by-four all at the same time,” Jaecks told the newspaper. “Or maybe a strike of lightning.”

Another jogger, Brad Hilliard, experienced a similar attack from above. Hilliard said he was running through the park, and felt a scratch on the back of his neck, as something swooped off with his favorite running cap.

“I turned around and my favorite running hat was gone. I was just dumbfounded after the fact. I was like, ‘My hat is gone and I can’t see anything,’ ” he told the Statesman.

This story just goes to show that while owls are beautiful birds, and you may want to approach them, it’s best to keep your distance. With razor sharp talons, stealthy flight and a piercing beak, they should be treated with respect and admired from a distance.

See an owl in your neighbourhood? Tweet us a picture @ptbogreenup or post it to our Facebook page


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