Kate Clark was out for an evening jog in her Clayton neighborhood Wednesday when she felt a flurry of feathers on top of her.
“It just swooped down on me and totally shocked me,” Clark said.
Clark said an owl approached her three times, once digging its claws into her scalp.
“It was definitely aggressive. I don't know why I was targeted,” she said.
Thursday afternoon, workers from the World Bird Sanctuary scouted the streets of Clayton.
Workers called for the owl, searching homes and trees for it. They interviewed other residents who’ve been attacked.
“It's rare. It's not something you see, in general. They're going to want to stay away from humans for the most part,” said Brian Bissonnette, the executive director of the World Bird Sanctuary.
Bissonnette said it is too late in the season for owls to be defending a next or eggs, but the owl could be trying to mark territory for another reason.
“It could be an owl that's trying to establish its territory and go into the courtship rituals with another owl,” Bissonnette said.
Once they spot the owl, workers will set a trap at night, most likely Friday night. They’ll evaluate the bird, and if it is healthy enough, it will be released into the wild.
However, there is a chance the bird is “imprinted,” meaning it has relied on humans for food since it was young. In that case, the bird cannot survive in the wild, and it will remain at the World Bird Sanctuary or a similar organization.