A tip if you have an owl encounter in the Bangor City Forest

File photo by Ellen Campbell.

File photo by Ellen Campbell.

On Oct. 19, I ambled around the Bangor City Forest in hopes to find the great horned owl that had reportedly attacked three parties. I had no luck, or a lot of luck, depending on what side of the comments section you’re on.

Bernard Hennessey, from Bangor, contacted us on Thursday to share his run-in with an owl on Sept. 15. He said:

On Sept. 15th I was running at the city forest, later than usual and well after sun down. The owl was waiting about 200 yards past the Stillwater parking lot on the East-West Trail. I was passing some people headed the opposite direction and just after I passed them I felt something stick me in the hip. I could see the owl flying low along side me and it had bit at my pocket, I think it was curious about my car keys. It flew ahead of me on the trail and came to rest in a tree above me. The couple passing by had seen the owl harassing me and they had a flashlight so they put a beam right on the owl. It flew off so we thought everything was ok and we parted ways. I hadn’t run 10 yards when the owl came back around and nipped at me again. I was really startled at this point and I yelled at the owl as it looked down at me from a new perch. The owl didn’t seem too impressed with my antics and flew straight at me.

Hennessey shared his secret to fending off owls.

I am not proud of what I did, I just turned and ran and flailed my arms like a fool. Which worked pretty well because the owl flew right into my arm and took a hard knock. It flew off just fine, and I’m glad that I didn’t hurt it.

He concluded his email with by saying the signs in the forest are “for real” and owls are “dangerous and can be very aggressive.”

On this list of birds that are “most likely to kill you”, barred owls are mentioned, but not great horned owls. (The list is sheerly hyperbolic, because they’ve done little more than scratch up their victims.)

Keep sending in your owl stories and help me find an idea for the next investigation.