READER REPORT: Another West Seattle owl encounter

For the third time in a week, a reader is reporting a too-close-for-comfort owl encounter while out in a forested West Seattle park in the evening. This one was sent last night by Zak:

Just wanted to let you know of an animal encounter I just had on the Schmitz Park trail. I was jogging around sunset when I noticed an owl swoop past me. The owl made a couple more passes as I continued down the trail, and then, in what appeared to be a good-natured act of mischief, grabbed my hat off of my head and dropped it in front of me.

This happened two more times. I wasn’t sure if the owl was just messing with me or trying to attack (I suspect an owl’s talons could do some damage to my bare head), so I just ran away, waving my hat over my head hoping to scare it off, until I got down to Alki playfield.

The other two recent reports are here (also Schmitz Park) and here. Learn more about co-existing with owls here.

8 Replies to "READER REPORT: Another West Seattle owl encounter"

  • anonyme September 6, 2020 (1:14 pm)

    These recent tales of owl encounters make me smile.  Humans are constantly messing with wildlife, often with tragic results.  It’s nice to see the tables turned for a change.

    • WSB September 6, 2020 (3:07 pm)

      And it should be noted that everyone who’s emailed about this has been goodnatured about it (pun not intended). Nobody was in the “OMG we must hunt down these vicious beasts” mode. We published them as an FYI, and also because while the owls, for example, don’t have a lot of choices, people might choose to steer clear for a while. – TR

  • aRF September 6, 2020 (1:53 pm)

    The owls are not what they seem.

    • Robin Sinner September 6, 2020 (3:14 pm)

       A perfect Twin Peaks reference 😀

  • WS98 September 6, 2020 (2:02 pm)

    The owls are defending territory, sharing a great resource from Seattle Audubon about dive bombing owls:

  • What kind of bird are you? September 6, 2020 (3:07 pm)

    Wow, they even went for the hat… one more for the owls! 

    Sounds like a playful way of asking you to move along, perhaps after a certain time they feel more protective of their territory. Would be interested to hear what time these encounters are occurring.

  • Babs September 6, 2020 (5:01 pm)

    You must have been wearing a cool hat – that is one hipster owl who wanted to enrich their wardrobe!

  • Delridge Resident September 6, 2020 (6:04 pm)

    This behavior doesn’t sound playful. It seems territorial and reminds me of a Criminal podcast episode I listened to a while ago…

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