Watch out for that owl!
Watch out for that owl! John Kleeman, Parks Operations Supervisor for Salem, Ore., installed this sign at Bush's Pasture Park warning visitors of the recent owl attacks (AP photos)
Watch out for that owl!
Lexile: 1150L

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The host on an MSNBC program has inspired Oregon's capital to post new warning signs in a park where four runners reported attacks from an angry owl likely defending its nest against perceived threats.

One jogger, a surgeon, said the owl hit him twice in Bush's Pasture Park in Salem, and so hard he thought he was having a stroke or an aneurysm. Another said the bird took his running cap and nicked his scalp.

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC suggested on air last week that the city should post a vivid yellow warning sign using the iconic pedestrian stick figure bent forward at a run. Above, claws extended, is a raptor.

Salem officials liked the idea.

Mark Becktel, parks and transportation services manager, said the city secured rights to reproduce the sign and is posting 20 of them.

"It's just making people aware that there's an owl there that for whatever reason swoops down and goes after people's hats," he said.

Officials previously put up handbills with printed warnings. Maddow said those weren't strong enough.

Birders say the assailant is a barred owl, an aggressive bird that's especially so during the current mating season. They say it may calm down soon.

Much of the angry owl's play in the press was in fun. The Statesman Journal newspaper had an online naming contest. "Owlcapone" got 238 votes, leading among 11 suggestions.

"Rachel Maddowl" received 188 votes. The MSNBC host suggested the sign design during a 14-minute segment Feb. 5 about wackiness in Oregon.

But what amused her most was the threat "looming over the state of Oregon right now, looming silently and occasionally swooping down and terrifying the state and sometimes drawing a little blood."

Critical thinking challenge: How did Rachel Maddow, who works on the east coast, have so much influence on events in Oregon on the other side of the country?

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Assigned 33 times

  • NashMcComsey-Ste
    2/19/2015 - 01:05 p.m.

    Intersting development. Its good to see them carefully dealing with this admittedly delicate sitation. Hopefully noone gets hurt by an owl. I can say, whole heartedly, that this is the strangest road sign i've ever seen,

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    2/19/2015 - 01:05 p.m.

    It's crazy that this article came up because I was just talking to my coach the other day about the time she hit an owl. I honestly thought she was just messing with us, but I guess not. I never even see owls let alone seeing them as a danger on the road.

  • TreyvaunT
    2/19/2015 - 02:08 p.m.

    I would probably have a heart attack if an owl would attack me. It would come out of no where with no warning at all. Plus I think owl's look scary

  • Ashleypatt
    2/19/2015 - 02:14 p.m.

    This name for this owl is actually pretty funny. Im not a favorite of owls because when they are flying around you have to be extra careful that they dont fly down and get in your hair because then you will have lots of trouble getting them out of your hair. I wish there wasnt owls because they to me are pointless.

  • joshh-Lam
    2/19/2015 - 03:47 p.m.

    The main idea for this article is that the owl goes after people and their hats. In the article it talks about the owl swooping down, attacking people, and taking people's hats. Second, joggers have to be aware because one guy felt like he had a seizure because the animal hit him in the back and hurt him that bad.

  • stevenm-Lam
    2/19/2015 - 03:52 p.m.

    The one main idea of the story is that owls swoop down and take people's hats. The owls hurt people, and it makes them feel like they are having a stroke. They put owl signs out, and so people watch out for them.

  • alexcl-Lam
    2/19/2015 - 04:04 p.m.

    This owl is a very dangerous and should be left to its own habitat. Some reasons why this owl is dangerous: "A jogger was attacked by the owl and loss his green cap and had his scalp scraped." Also, the bird has attacked so many people that the park had to place signs of a person getting attacked by an owl to warn everyone of a Barred owl. They are aggressive more during mating season.

  • 9caitlync
    2/19/2015 - 05:27 p.m.

    This article is about an owl that for some reason is swooping down at runners who run in the park of Bush's pasture park. They arena quite sure why the owl is doing this, some think it could be because of the mating season and that the owl will eventually calm down. They decided to post signs of a stick figure man running and an owl looking figure swooping down towards him to let the near by people know. In the mean time they named the owl Owlcapone.

  • alexher-Lam
    2/19/2015 - 05:29 p.m.

    It's weird that the owl is attacking people. He is probably protecting his nest or his owl family. Maybe he gets angry when people get too close to the area where he lives. Owls may feel threatened by humans because humans can make sudden moves.

  • christinab-Lam
    2/19/2015 - 05:32 p.m.

    Pedestrians are getting attacked by a Barred owls. Joggers have been attacked by the owls; one got hit by an owl and thought he was having a stroke. The other jogger had his hat taken by the owl, and the owl's talons scraped his head. This article states, "Birders say the assailant is a barred owl, an aggressive bird...during the mating season. They say it may calm down soon." Four joggers have been attacked by owls and Rachel Maddowl would like to help keep the number of attacks down.

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