Runner left with 'six holes in the head' after third buzzard attack

Joggers are told to wear HELMETS for protection after furious buzzard attacked runner, 46, leaving him caked in blood and with ‘six holes in the head’

  • Ewan Cameron was attacked by a raptor while running near his Friockheim home
  • He said the ‘notorious’ bird had already swooped down on him twice before 

Runners are no strangers to pain and the odd injury in pursuing their passion. But ‘holes in the head’ from an angry bird are the last thing they’d expect.

However, that’s what happened to Ewan Cameron running near his home in Friockheim, Angus, when a buzzard swooped on him. He described the attack as like someone ‘punching you in the back of the head’. 

The marathon runner was three miles from home when the raptor struck. He told the BBC Scotland’s Drivetime programme: ‘The talons are very sharp and they just sunk into the back of my head effectively. 

‘I’ve got a collection of about six holes in my head as a consequence of the attack.’

Mr Cameron, 46, said: ‘By the time I got home there was quite a bit of blood running down the back of my head. I asked my wife to please get the antiseptic cream out and do a bit of a clean-up job.’

He said the ‘notorious’ bird has swooped on him twice before. ‘The first time it happened to me I thought that a truck wing mirror had hit the back of my head on the way past.’

Ewan was running in Friockheim, Angus, on Sunday when he suddenly felt a blow from behind

Marathon runner Ewan Cameron (pictured) was out for a run when he was attacked by the bird

He shared his experience online and several other runners shared their own tales of buzzard attacks.

He said: ‘I think there was about 240-odd reactions to it and the comments are still coming today.

‘A lot of people indeed have also been attacked by buzzards or at least getting swooped at, but maybe not actually being hit by them.

‘The bird has got quite clever now and it gets you from behind.’

He added that some runners had said they had been left traumatised and are now anxious at the thought of running in the countryside.

The protected bird of prey has a wingspan of up to 50in and females, which are typically heavier, can weigh almost 3lb. They tend to eat small birds, mammals and carrion as well as insects.

Image shows a European Honey Buzzard in flight, pictured in Uddel, the Netherlands

Paul Reynolds from the New Arc Wildlife Centre in Aberdeenshire told BBC Drivetime that attacks like this are not a common occurrence.

He said: ‘If we think about it on the grand scale of things, there’s more people injured by cows I think than the bird of prey side of things.

‘Most buzzards are laying their eggs around mid-April until the start of May. So that’s when they’re sort of at their peak of defending their territory immediately adjacent to their nests.’

He said that people should take ‘appropriate mitigation’ such as avoiding nesting areas and even wearing a helmet or cap if necessary.

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