The poll on wildlife encounters generated some interesting feedback, such as:
A few weeks ago, toward the early evening around 6 pm, I caught a prolonged first-time ever (in the Bay Area) glimpse of a Great Horned Owl flying and the settling to roost for about three minutes on a tree limb, at Briones Reservoir. Luckily, I had my binos handy, to zoom in on this wondrous animal. It was quite a sighting!
Has anyone ever spotted one of these guys in Bay Area Wild before?
I was 9 years old and walking one morning with my 4th-grade class on Cabrillo Avenue in Santa Clara from Bowers Elementary to a concert at Juan Cabrillo Middle School. We all heard a sound coming from a tree lining the edge of Bowers Park and looked up to see a Great Horned Owl – the first owl many of us had ever seen. Fortunately our teacher knew what it was, but in retrospect, its size – and its eyes – made it unmistakable.
I later saw a Great Horned Owl get hit by a jeep on the road out of Canyonlands NP. I knew I couldn’t do much about it, but I stopped anyway, put on some gloves, grabbed some newspaper, and removed it from the roadway. I saw the light fading from its luminous yellow eyes, and it died right there in my arms. I buried it that evening in camp, but I still keep one of its primaries to remind me of that morning in the Utah desert.
I did have an interesting encounter with a skunk last year. I sleep under a tarp. That means things can crawl under them. I woke up to a skunk chewing on my snack bag.(no bears in the area) It is hard to decide how to scare a skunk away in such a small space. I shooed it out of one side of my tarp. Moments later, it was back in the other side. I had to pack up after it came back three times. Nobody wants to get skunked.
Rest of the comments are here.