A Canadian trapper says an owl viciously attacked him while he was checking his rabbit snares one night this week, leaving his face bloodied.

Kevin O'Neil, 55, of Digby County in Nova Scotia, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. the attack occurred Tuesday night while he was checking his traps after a day of lobster fishing.

O'Neil said he spotted the bird, probably a barred owl, before it targeted him.

"I kind of looked up at it jokingly and said to it, 'You bugger, you better not be eating my rabbits,'" he said.

But a few minutes later, he said: "It swooped down and struck me right in the face. Feet first."

He said the owl's talons ripped into his forehead and around his right eye.

"The blood just started running out of me. It knocked me down," he said.

The owl flew back into a tree and while O'Neil said he was carrying a shotgun he walked away without firing.

"He's one lucky owl, that's all I can say," he said.

O'Neill, who said he's recovering from his wounds, theorized the bird may have been protecting a nest.

Source: UPI