Foul owl on the prowl

Another harrowing real-life sequel to “Nature Strikes Back”:

According to the Beaufort Gazette, “the Mossy Oaks owl has attacked again.”

The airborne aggressor’s target at about 10:30 nine nights ago was 23-year-old Tyler Dixon, who said the owl quickly flew down for a direct hit on the top of his head.

Mr. Dixon told the Gazette: “The owl had so much force that it brought me to my knees. I thought it was a man trying to rob me. I never expected it to be an owl.”

He added, “I can’t believe an owl would attack a 6-foot-4-inch man.”

An owl, presumably the same one, had attacked a 14-year-old girl outside the same house just 10 days earlier, inflicting puncture wounds on her head.

In the more recent aerial assault, Mr. Tyler said the owl screeched as it swooped down to deliver its surprise blow, then kept making that same scary noise as it flew into a tree across the street.

A few minutes later, the owl returned for an attempted strike on Emily Bradley, Mr. Dixon’s girlfriend. Fortunately, though, she was shielded by an umbrella.

Mr. Dixon, who reported the incident to Beaufort County Animal Control and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, said that while he doesn’t want the owl killed, “I also don’t want this happening again.” He explained: “We have kids and pets around, so this aggressive owl could be a problem.”

So what’s that belligerent bird’s problem?

Neighbors said they saw that adult owl with a younger one. Thus, it’s fair to suspect that the grown-up (both male and female owls protect their young) is just doing what comes naturally by defending its nest from a perceived menace.

So don’t just watch out for sharks in the water and snakes in the grass.

Watch out for dive-bombing owls in the trees.