No one was more surprised than Clayton Conner when an owl flew into his truck while he was driving.
Conner said was driving along with his windows halfway down when a barred owl flew into his truck and settled behind his back until he was able to pull over, according to a 47 second TikTok video posted Sunday. The video has amassed more than 5.5 million views since it was first posted.
The owl remains perched on the driver’s seat, staring directly into the camera as Conner continues to describe how the big bird ended up in his truck.
The commotion doesn’t seem to disturb the owl too much, but towards the end Conner notes that it’s making a slight chirping noise.
“I feel bad cause it making this chirping noise,” Conner said towards the end of the video.
It’s unclear what happens to the owl after the video ends, but Conner and his partner can be heard trying to come up with a safe solution to get the owl out of the vehicle.
Harry Potter references, the spiritual implications of an owl visit and the fear an owl encounter would have elicited were some of the most common comments under Conner’s video.
“All jokes aside owl crossing your path is a sign of protection and comes with a message. Need to figure out what it’s telling you,” one user wrote.
If you want to see a barred owl stare into your soul, watch the video below.
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What should I know if I encounter an owl?
Since owls typically avoid getting too close to people, we tend to coexist pretty peacefully.
Even though owl encounters are rare, you can never be too careful.
An owl attack is more likely to occur if human and owl territories overlap, the bird feels threatened, faces extra stress, experiences hunger, or is trying to care for their young, according to ForestWildlife.org.
The best way to protect yourself from a potential owl attack is to avoid being out by yourself at night, especially in rural areas.
However, if you do have to be out after dark or before dawn you can avoid unwanted encounters by making noise to ward off any lurking owls, paying close attention to your surroundings, moving over to more densely populated areas.
Here are some more ways to keep yourself safe, courtesy of ForestWildLife.org:
- Listen carefully: As noted above, owls tend to give you a warning before they attack. If you hear what seems to be an unusual amount of hooting, or if it sounds too close for comfort, you should probably leave the area immediately.
- Use an umbrella: Covering yourself with an umbrella may do more than protect you during an attack; it may prevent an attack in the first place. The umbrella can give the impression that you are a much larger “prey” than the owl is capable of handling, or that you are too powerful a predator for it to challenge
- Discourage owls on your property: Keep your trees trimmed and use a scarecrow or some other type of bird repellent. If you can keep your yard from becoming an ideal sanctuary for owls, you will lower your chances of becoming involved in battles for territory with the birds.
- Avoid rural areas at night: Woodland areas, meadows, and even city parks can become hotspots for owls. If you go to these areas, especially at night, you risk encroaching on their territory and provoking an attack
- Leave owls alone: Don’t go looking for trouble. You may be curious about observing an owl’s behavior, but they are elusive creatures, and if you get too close, they will not hesitate to put you in your place
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