Date: 9/9/17 9:49 am From: Jeremy Davis <davisjp23...> Subject: [Tweeters] Owl Attack
I was sent this from a buddy of mine who saw it on the Facebook page for the Seattle Mountain Running Group. Be careful out there!
Jeff Ziegler > Seattle Mountain Running Group
Around 5:50 this morning, I was running behind Issaquah High School and had just turned onto the High School Trail to head up to the Lake Tradition Plateau, when I was hit on the back of the head. I turned around to see if someone had snuck up behind me or if I had hit a low branch. Seeing nothing, I again faced forward and saw what I thought was a reflection of an eyeball from my hand lamp moving up the trail around the corner. I followed around the corner, shined my light up the trail and saw an owl sitting on a branch about 100 feet ahead. Deciding it would be best to not continue up the trail, I turned around and headed back the way I had come. I had traveled maybe 30-40 feet when I was again struck on the back of the head. This time I backed up the trail towards the high school parking lot as the owl watched from a branch.
At this point I was a little spooked, so I decided to run around in town for a while. As it started to get light and I turned off my hand lamp, I realized I wasn’t wearing my headlamp anymore. What I had thought had been the reflection of light from the owls eye, was actually my headlamp the owl was carrying up the trail after picking it off my head.
I then headed to Grand Ridge. Around 7:15<x-apple-data-detectors://1>as I was heading down the Grand Ridge Trail, a commotion stirred about 10 feet in front of me as an owl took flight from a stump, and took up watch perched on a branch above the trail in front of me. Learning my lesson from earlier, I picked up a stick and started back pedaling back up the trail. I took a quick look behind me to check out where I was going, and when I turned back forward, I saw the owl had swooped down towards me. I started waving the stick in front of me and over my head. The owl put the brakes on mid-air, momentarily hovered over me, and then retreated to a branch a couple of dozen feet in front of me. Without taking my eye off the owl, I reached down, picked up a rock, and threw it off the trunk of the tree the owl was on, and it retreated to another tree farther down the trail. I continued back pedaling up the trail until the owl was well out of site.
I then headed back across I-90 to the Lake Tradition Plateau. Around 8:00<x-apple-data-detectors://2> I picked up a stick at the top of the High School Trail and headed down with the intent to look for my headlamp. About half way down I had second thoughts and decided I would detour onto what I think is the Boundary Trail through Park Pointe. Just as I made that decision, I was nailed on the back of the head for the third time this morning. I’m not sure if it was the same owl as from the first attack, but I was probably still .4 of mile up the trail from where the first attacked had occurred. Once again I back pedaled up the trail until the owl was well out of site. I probably look pretty stupid the last couple of miles back to my car waving a stick in the air, and my head on a swivel.
I’m not sure what the deal is. I’ve run hundreds of miles on Grand Ridge and Tiger Mountain, including a few dozen in the dark, and never been attacked or buzzed by an owl, much less three times in one morning. I’m now in the market for a new headlamp, and maybe a helmet and body armor.