Hoo goes there? Two hikers are attacked by owls
KIRKLAND — Another reason to be careful in the park after dark: owl muggings.
Rangers at St. Edward State Park are warning hikers and bikers to avoid the park’s trails at dawn and dusk after owls attacked two people last month.
One hiker was dive-bombed by a barred owl during the first week of October. Later in the month, a great horned owl zeroed in on another hiker, who was left with 15 puncture wounds from its inch-and-a-half-long talons.
The second hiker went to the hospital for a tetanus shot.
Rangers have posted signs at the park on the northeast shore of Lake Washington, warning about possible owl attacks at dawn and dusk, when they are most likely to occur.
State Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Patricia Thompson said the attacks aren’t unusual. She gets calls every fall about owl attacks in the Seattle area.
Thompson said the attacks probably were by aggressive juvenile owls learning to hunt. Both species, when mature, stand about 2 feet tall and can have 5-foot wingspans.
Being hit by one would be like being socked by a volleyball with talons, she said.
She added that the danger of attacks will soon be over. The migratory birds are expected to move on soon.
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