A Massachusetts man was attacked by an owl Monday night seconds after the raptor had swooped toward his dog.
Boston 25 News reported that Kenneth Wadness of Medfield suffered cuts to his head during the harrowing incident.
“This owl came and swooped right next to Micah and right by my elbow,” Wadness said. “He took off and I couldn’t see him [but] within 10 seconds he whacked me with his talons. He hit me in the back of my head.”
Wadness armed himself with a branch and carried his dog to his vehicle.
Andrew Vitz of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said the owl might have been protecting its territory as the birds are entering nesting season.
Vitz advised people to keep small pets inside at night.
Birds-of-prey attacks on pets are rare but sometimes occur.
In June 2022 a doorbell camera captured footage showing a bald eagle attempting to fly off with a pet Yorkie in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
The footage shows the Yorkie crying out as a shadow appears overhead and the eagle swoops down to grab her from a porch. The eagle grabs but quickly releases the dog after banging into a container while attempting to take flight.
–Generic owl image courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service