Coquitlam Owl Attacks

Photo of Mundy Park’s Lost Lake courtesy Matt Musselman.

The owls are going crazy, according to one jogger in Coquitlam’s Mundy Park. Jogger Linda Epplette received several cuts to her scalp, requiring a tetanus shot and an appointment with a chiropractor; the Now interviewed three others who have also been the victims of barred owl attacks.

The birds seem to hate bald heads and ponytails. Most likely, as Ministry of Environment bird specialist Myke Chutter points out, “They could be young birds who have just fledged and they’re looking to set up and defend their territory for the next year.” Or, says SFU biologist David Green, “If they have young or they’ve been nesting nearby, then for some individuals, humans are sort of a potential threat.”

Also known as the northern barred owl, the swamp owl, the striped owl, the hoot owl, the eight hooter, the round-headed owl, le chat-huant du nord (French for “the hooting cat of the north”), the wood owl, the rain owl and, mistakenly, as the bard owl, their only known enemy is the great horned owl.

But they will fight just about anyone to protect their nests.

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