When Nature Attacks


Scott McGrew

Laura recently reported the expansion of the Google campus might be delayed by burrowing owls. She and the rest of the morning team were surprised to hear some owls live underground, like chipmunks.

I can assure you they are very real. I took this picture on a recent Saturday afternoon while my boys and I were at a big field at Baylands Park to launch model rockets. We were crossing the field looking for one of our rockets. Its parachute had failed and it came down like, well, a rocket. I was with Ian, my 6-year-old, and 13-year-old Zachary was about 50 feet away. As Ian and I were walking, something flew up out of the ground at our face. I jumped on top of Ian. The thing, whatever it was, flew up into the air towards Zach. Zachary, startled by my reaction, ran away screaming as the owl chased him. I’m sure he’s glad I just wrote that on the Internet.

It reminded me a bit of pheasant hunting, something I tried while I was going to college in Iowa. You go out to a big farm field and just sort of walk along til a nesting pheasant shoots out of the grass. It really startles you – and I swear you’re more or less shooting in self-defense.

So, if you’re out in the Shoreline area, watch out for owls from below. And McGrew boy rockets from above.

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter


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