Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Owl Attacks
Name: Grant
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. On November 19th I was out for a walk in Central Park (Vancouver). It was dusk just before dark when I got hit in the head from behind by an owl. I didn't know what it was at the instant it hit me until it flew off in front of me and landed above in a tree. I stopped and looked up to it for a minute and I made a cooing noise. When I proceded to leave again it hit me in the head a second time but harder. I have a very small puncture mark on the side of my head but it did not bleed. I checked the internet to see if there was any other incidents and I could only find one that was on this site so I thought I would tell you about it. No one else I know has ever heard of it happening.


Replies:
Due to the timing of this note (November, I am assuming that the owl in question is a Great Horned Owl. It is possible that it is one of the smaller owls found in B.C..

November and December is the primary time for Great Horned Owls to establish their home territories for the up-coming nesting season. Dependiong upon the latitude, they lay their eggs in January/February. The owl was not interested in harming you, but more to chase you away. You were probably near its prime nesting area. GHO's have a fear for humans.

Steve Sample ==================================================================== I was sent copies of a couple clippings from Vancouver newspapers regarding barred owls attacking people in a park, I did not keep the clippings and don't remember if it was this park, sounds very much like you've experienced the same type of incident. Barred owls were the species in those incidents. The clippings were from several weeks ago, maybe late October or early November. You might check past issues of your local papers.

J. Elliott


Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory