The other day I was out running on West Mercer Way. It was about 5 pm, and getting dark. Something heavy tangled itself in my hair. I thought it had fallen from a tree. But then it fell up, not down, and I saw a bird fly on ahead of me. A crow, I thought, with bad aim and a very short life expectancy, given its flying habits.
The bird alighted on a branch, and I got closer and saw it was an owl.
Not the owl that attacked me. Photo credit: Flickr.
I stared at him. He stared back. It’s a strange feeling to be hunted. I said, “Boo!” He looked at me, swiveled his head around, and then back. I said “Boo!” again, mostly to re-establish my position in the food chain. He stared.
I started to run again, and as I did he took off behind me. I ducked. It wasn’t quite fear, but I didn’t want a bird in my hair. I decided to go straight home. I wanted to turn around and see if he was following me, but I worried that he’d get my eyes.
Later, a friend suggested that the owl might not have been hunting; he may have been building a nest, and thought my hair would be useful. Somehow, that didn’t make me feel promoted in the owl worldview.
Wildlife is to be respected, though I hadn’t anticipated needing to respect it on West Mercer Way. Bonus lesson for runners: run during the day.