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!
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The host on an MSNBC program has inspired Oregon's capital to post new warning signs in a park. That's 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. The bird struck 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 commented on air last week. She said 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. Twenty will be posted.

"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. It's 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 segment Feb. 5 about wackiness in Oregon.

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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COMMENTS (100)
  • John0724-YYCA
    2/18/2015 - 09:10 p.m.

    I think that this owl is going to be really scary and dangerous because I read this book about this owl and they could poke somebody's eye out. There was also one incident that while a photographer was taking a picture of an owl and when he took the picture the owl came right fast at him and killed the photographer. It is a good thing that the construction worker put a yellow sign about the owl attacking people or else if they didn't all the other people will get scars of bruises on there face.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    2/18/2015 - 09:12 p.m.

    I think that it is a good idea for people to put signs for other people since people need instructions in which they have to go. I think that doing this will both protect people and the animals around the people. I hope that the people and the animals won't interact anymore, since if this were to happen again, people will probably take out/kill animals that are hurting us.
    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?
    Answer: I think that Rachael Maddow has so much influence on events in Oregon because she is famous.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    2/18/2015 - 09:13 p.m.

    I think that it is dangerous for runners to get attacked by owls because they think that the runners are come toward their nest so they will have to attack the runners to defend their nest because they think that the runners are predators. Well I think that reminding the runners to watch out for owls that might attack them, so they put up a sign to make the runners to make the run for it from the angry owls.

  • ChaseG-5
    2/18/2015 - 11:07 p.m.

    This article is about an angry owl in Oregon. This owl is attacking pedestrians walking by it. It is during mating season and it has its own nest so it must be extra protective. Many joggers that pass the owl have complained that they need to put a warning sign near the owl. On multiple occasions the owl has attacked innocent people walking by it. I think that having a sign warning pedestrians to keep a distance from the owl is a smart idea. I also think that people need to be aware of the dangerous owl and protect their own safety.

  • jm2000skate
    2/19/2015 - 08:42 a.m.

    MSNBC is a big enough program and it was popular with the whole country so almost anyone could see it, even someone in Oregon.

  • dc2000blue
    2/19/2015 - 08:45 a.m.

    This article is about an owl attacking some one. Another thing it is about is people voting for yellow signs saying to be care full. Also that much angry owl's play in the press was in fun.

  • alyssa.knight71
    2/19/2015 - 12:50 p.m.

    Owls are extremely protective of their nests and to be honest I would attack anyone or thing around me that is physically moving. Great horned owls are the biggest, strongest and most powerful out of the owl family, but a barred owl going after someone is not usual. Are they sure the bird is okay. Barred owls are not aggressive at all and during mating season they go off not in a city.

  • mackinzy.oneil65
    2/19/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    Ouch! That's uncalled for. Instead of making a sign, just capture the owl. I researched how to capture an owl and it doesn't look that hard. I of coarse don't want random people trying to catch it, I recommend calling a professional to do the job. It's crazy how an owl can do such damage to a living thing.

  • DC1024Kaiser
    2/19/2015 - 01:01 p.m.

    To me that sign will work because it is letting people know about a owl may attack them. If it doesn't work then have a alter net route because if you try to move an owl away from the baby that we don't know where it is the baby will die.

  • adrianahope
    2/19/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    I think that it is a really good idea that they are putting up signs up to warn people about the owl. I also think that maybe they should try to capture the owl and release it in to the wild, like the forest or something instead of letting the owls hurt people. Maybe the owl is doing this to protect its nest. I don't think that the owl would necessarily hurt someone unless they were trying to protect there young.

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