Great horned owl is a surprisingly good swimmer

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You would think a bird that found itself water-logged in a lake would be operating in full panic mode. But the situation was no cause for concern to this remarkably calm great horned owl, which maintains impressive dignity as it calmly swims toward shore.

The video was taken by a Chicago photographer named Steve Spitzer, who was relaxing at Loyola Park Beach when he noticed the peculiar sight.

A nearby birder explained that the owl had been forced into Lake Michigan during an aerial battle with two peregrine falcons. While owls often hunt small rodents such as mice, they have been known to prey on the young of other birds, so it’s probable that the falcons were merely protecting their nest.

While great horned owls have few natural predators due to their large size, the smaller falcon is more maneuverable in the sky, and could therefore harry the powerful but slow-moving owl into the water.

Apparently bird rescue was called to the scene to assist the owl, but once it reached shore and dried off, it flew on its way.

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(Images courtesy of Steve Spitzer)