When owls attack.  It sounds like the title of a bad made-for-TV movie, but it's more like a reality show starring Springfield's Audre Langebartel.

Two nights ago an owl attacked her in a south Springfield restaurant parking lot.

"We were outside talking like where are we going next type stuff and then I look up at the light and I see a huge bird coming at me, and I immediately ran forward and kind of squealed and ducked down really quick.  As soon as I ducked down I felt the owl on me and he just stuck on me and moved around on my back," Audre tells us.

Her friends were laughing about it then, and she's laughing about it now--

"I collect owls and think they're adorable so everyone was making jokes about that, 'oh your spirit animal came and attacked you, it was a blessing,'" she says, grinning.

But it's not always a laughing matter.  Several others say they have been attacked in this same area including a Houlihan's busser, and it can be serious.

"They're going to be protecting territories and protecting nests and they just tend to get more aggressive this time of year however the Great Horned Owl has been known to attack people for no apparent reason," explains Kim Banner, a naturalist with the Springfield Nature Center.  "There have been reports of campers that have just been walking at night and they have been attacked for no apparent reason even though it wasn't around the breeding time and it can be a fairly ferocious attack."

Not a typical attack, though, according to Kim.  She says four breeds of owl are commonly found in the Ozarks and only the great horned has been known to-- albeit it rarely-- target people.

That's the breed Audre thinks got her.  Although she didn't get a good look, she did get a good scare.

"The talons are absolutely terrifying," she remembers.

The episode lasted thirty seconds-- short for a reality show, but long enough to cancel her plans.

"I went home; I was really shaken up," Audre concludes of the ordeal.

The experts at the Nature Center say you shouldn't be afraid of owls.  In fact this Friday night they're hosting an "owl prowl" where you can get up close to the birds.

For more information on that event click here.