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Barred owl attack, duck!

So, I kind of just got attacked by a barred owl. Yikes!

Barred owls are not only kinda creepy, with their big black eyes, they also sometimes hunt during the day. Particularly this time of year, when they have fledglings to feed, and there’s so much daylight (it’s only dark from 10PM-4AM) that nocturnal creatures often have to resort to hunting during daylight hours.

This morning I let the chickens out to forage. Then a few minutes ago, I:

1. Saw a big shadow pass by my window.

2. Heard the chickens sound the alarm.

I raced outside and saw a barred owl in a nearby tree, and the chickens all huddled under my porch hooting their alarm calls.

I decided that the best thing to do was to coax the chickens across the yard and into their nice safe run, while I kept an eye on the owl.

As the chickens came out from under the porch, the owl locked eyes with me. Now the owl and I are in a staring match.

Then the owl sort of bobbed its head around, like a cat wagging its butt before it pounces, and swooped out of the tree right towards my head.

I yelled “HEY!!!” and waved my arms around in the air, because I don’t know, what do YOU do when an owl comes at you?

The owl swooped over my head, close enough that I could feel the breeze, but realistically it missed me by at least a foot. I think it was more of an “Eff you for messing up my game” than a serious attack.

Anyway, I was able to hustle the chickens back into their run and scampered back inside without suffering any further owl attacks.

So that’s my Monday. How’s yours?

8 comments to Barred owl attack, duck!

  • Amber

    Waving your arms and shouting makes perfect sense to ME.

    I’ve never been attacked by an owl, but I’m a member of the Portland Chinese Garden, and there’s a resident blue jay that likes to dive-bomb people when their backs are turned. I’ve been hit a couple of times while bent over taking close-up shots of flowers. (I can’t say I recommend getting a blue jay to the back of the head.)

  • Cristina

    Awesome Monday! Out in nature, fending off predatory birds, seeing such a magnificent creature, and saving the life of your hens!

    My Monday consisted of sorting a huge pile of med recs for hospice patients, scanning everything for hours until my brain poured out of my ears. If only a barred owl had come and plucked me out of my cubicle and dropped me off in the Gulf.

    Wonder what Cinna-cat thought of your dangerous activities?

  • Erika

    Amber, yikes!

    Cristina, she was blissfully unaware anything was going on, being soundly asleep up in her nest. Good thing, too, because barred owls eat cats all the time.

  • […] Erika on Barred owl attack, duck! […]

  • KellyS

    that’ll wake you up

  • Well, when I had an ermine (weasel!!) running across the bathroom floor at me, while I was in a somewhat helpless position (bathroom, right?), all I could think to do was say “Hey!”, so waving and hollering seems like a rational response.
    Wanna come over and scare off my damn goldfinch? He’s still spending hours a day, every day, trying to fly through the glass of our bedroom window. Tap-tappity-tap is starting to drive me nuts…

  • Erika

    Is he attacking his reflection? If so, you could just tape a sheet of newspaper over the outside of the window.

  • Erica, yikes! Suddenly my Monday looks a lot better.

    Gayle, if you want to discourage the goldfinch and still see out the window, you can buy decals to put on the windows that discourage the birds. I worked in an office that had that problem, and we found the stickers really stopped most of the birds from flying into the window.