Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bangor City Forest

High: 69° F
Low: 43° F
Conditions: Chance of showers

Earlier this year, the Bangor City Forest made the national news after a string of cross country skiers were mugged on the forest trails. Who was the perpetrator? Not marauding highwaymen or punk teenagers. No, this criminal was of the decidedly avian sort:

A great horned owl.

It seems the skiers (and in some cases, their dogs) inadvertantly got to close to the owl's nest. So he responded by clocking them on the head as they went by. The blow was enough to knock down at least one visitor to the forest.

State wildlife officials responded by posting these signs throughout the vicinity--perhaps hoping that, if they couldn't stop the owl from divebombing, they could at least give folks a heads up (as it were).

Earlier this week, the canine naturalist and I visited the forest, hoping we might find evidence of this aggressive flyer. We picked the trail we thought might most appeal to him, and set out to see what we could find.

No owls--assaultive or otherwise--but we did find some lovely spring wildflowers:

And plenty of rodent nesting holes to sniff:

We tried out some great granite benches:

And the forest watering holes:

Best of all, we even found some flora suffering from the same coat condition that Miss Ari is undergoing:

As for the marauding great horned owl, that'll have to wait for another trip. Probably a good thing, since it sounds like we might need to wear hard hats when we finally meet him.


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I bet the GHO would LOVE to plukhk those tufts!

My mom the GHO would!

SOOO, any Oswalds on the RABBIT trail?

OR any bunny beans?


YD said...

Oh no owl? But looks like it was a fun little trip.

Sam & June

Stella said...

Did you go out Hoping to get Beaned? Thats hard to imagine but I suppose it is all experience to you academics!


The OP Pack said...

Is your Mom a pluckaholic, Ari? We have one who is really bad - always grabbing at us. Thanks for the lovely walk.

Woos, the OP Pack

Tracey and Huffle said...

The magpies here do that in nesting season. They're quite vicious!

Huffle Mawson

Eve said...

From the previous post...I could send you Ole fur...then you could make 5 sweaters!

I love the fuzzy flowers to go with the fuzzybutt!

The Thundering Herd said...

We are not sure about the fun in finding a dive bombing owl (the one that sits in the tree near our run stares us down), but we love that they created a trail to find rabbits on. That's our style.

P.S. - Don't worry Ari. Our humans are taking pictures of our fluff and plucking it regularly. Sigh.

Lorenza said...

I'd love to see those owls acting!
Sure you had a nice walkie!
Kisses and hugs

Holly and Khady said...

Such beautiful places you go Ari!

I bet I could catch those Owls if they swooped down on me! Wouldn't be the first bird I caught right out of the air!

We are all chunking out here too. Mom likes to pluck us. We don't like that too much.


Southbay Girl said...

You went down a "BUNNY" trail? Did you see any bunnies? Did you chase any bunnies!!! BUNNIES! I'm so jealous!!! who cares about the owl-you went down the bunny trail!!!

JB's Big World said...

That looks like a great place for walking, uh, but be careful of those owls!

The Army of Four said...

Don't let my mom see the tufts of fluff! She's a pluck-a-holic to the n-th degree! I got her back yesterday, though. She started to pluck me some more... forgetting she had just painted her fingernails. Hee hee hee!

umekotyan said...

Good evening Ari
The forest knows the event in the forest.
It is felt that the mystery and the truth have fallen naturally in the forest.
It is clarified by searching for Ari.
However, it is on the road to examine the difference on the way that everyone passes.
It tries to know a part of the book here, and it is in the book me caught.
A wonderful weekend with the exploration of the forest. :D

from loved ume tyan

Island Rambles Blog said...

Hi there..never heard of a GHO attacking, very interesting.... doing some quick catching up and visiting your lovely blog once again as I have just returned...cheers.

Marigold said...

Ari should have worn her trooper hat like in the picture. I bet you could distract an owl with Peanuts. I know I would be distracted.

Anonymous said...

Oh Ari,

My name is An(n)onymous and I am a pluck-a-holic. Seeing those tufts of hair next to the tufted flowers just makes my fingers twitch! Glad you and your mum had a lovely walk without being bopped on the head.


Amber and Nala said...

Hard hats sound like a great idea! :) Looks like a great walk though. :)

Pippa said...

Oh Ari, that looks such a fine walk. And I do like your harness, I have suddenly become interested in other pups harnesses since acquiring mine. I also have exactly those tufts of fur in exactly the same place - in fact I thought I was looking at a picture of my rear until I realised your tail is different.


ryan said...

Hi, there, I just found this blog. The story behind the owl attacks is rather mundane, actually. It was the city, not the state, that actually put those warning signs up, and without consulting with the area's bird biologist. The biologist, Charlie Todd, surmised that the owl was not attacking people at all but going for vermin stirred up by passing skiers. I concur with him, as I have never seen an owl's nest in City Forest, although I have seen a great horned's handiwork with decapitated snowshoe hares and red squirrel remains.

Incidentally, Rabbit Trail is an unfortunate name for a trail in City Forest, as there are no rabbits this far north in Maine.