Strange days in Missouri. Why strange? KY3 News has been receiving multiple reports that people in southeast Springfield have been “attacked” by owls, plural, or perhaps just one particularly aggressive owl.
There’s Timmery Clark, who sent the station a picture of a bird just hanging out on the back of her head. Clark told KYTV, “It was very gentle--I thought it might hurt me, but both times it very calmly and gently settled on my head (even though I was laughing and screaming). It was pretty surreal, but a funny moment to have caught on film!”
There’s Rance Cooper, who also had an owl come at his head, “I just turned just in time to see the claws right here, coming at my face. That's when I ducked, and he hit the head and started grabbing, and I started swatting, not looking too masculine at that point.” His son, Ty, was also attacked by an owl.
KSPR ABC 33 News talked with Audre Langebartel, who told them, “We were outside talking like where are we going next type stuff and then I look up at the light and I see a huge bird coming at me, and I immediately ran forward and kind of squealed and ducked down really quick. As soon as I ducked down I felt the owl on me and he just stuck on me and moved around on my back.”
So what gives? Springfield Nature Center naturalist Kim Banner told KSPR, “They're going to be protecting territories and protecting nests and they just tend to get more aggressive this time of year however the Great Horned Owl has been known to attack people for no apparent reason.” Ok, so it’s possible owls are just doing this because they can.
KY3 notes, that because these owls are federally protected, a USDA representative is helping the Missouri Department of Conservation to see if they can find where the owl is nesting so they can trap and relocate it. In the meantime, keep an eye on the sky, Springfielders.