Staff at the park put up signs reading, “Caution! An aggressive owl lives here!”

By Alex Heigl
October 14, 2015 07:14 PM

Joggers around the popular Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda, Maryland, are facing more than just shin splints and the fact that no one cares you ran a half-marathon, Karen, stop bringing it up apropos of nothing.

They’re facing an owl.

A large, definitely angry and possibly intoxicated owl that one jogger identified as a barred owl has been launching nocturnal attacks on runners over the past two weeks.

The bird’s attacks — three have been reported so far — have come after nightfall or before dawn, as owl attacks typically do. One runner suffered minor scratches and was not, as had been reported in my nightmares, lifted bodily into the air and taken away to a snowy keep for consumption by ravenous owlets.

Montgomery Parks spokeswoman Melissa Chotiner told the Associated Press that barred owls are typically active at night and are territorial, and probably, though not definitely, added that they’re super-not-into whatever jogging music Karen was blasting through those Beatz earbuds.

Chotiner recommends tucking in any ponytails that may be aggravating the owl for aesthetic reasons and also making noise as the owl approaches. (Maybe try explaining that you’re training for that half-marathon, Karen.)

Staff at the park put up signs Tuesday reading, “Caution! An aggressive owl lives here!”

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We’ve reached out to the owl via Twitter, where it maintains an active presence, and will update this story with any comment we get.

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