Owls are remarkable and intimidating creatures: They can fly near silently. They have excellent vision and hearing. They're fierce hunters that can swallow prey whole. Their unique markings and front-set eyes give them a mysterious and wise look.
And apparently they're pretty good swimmers.
While birdwatcher and photographer Steve Spitzer was at Loyola Park Beach in Chicago Sunday, he caught a great horned owl swimming in Lake Michigan. The owl was forced into the water by two peregrine falcons, according to WGN, and Spitzer captured a few moments of its surprisingly graceful swim on video.
Spitzer told MLive that the owl swam for about 15 minutes before reaching shore. It flew into a tree after resting on the beach, where Spitzer caught it looking more enigmatically bored than tired:
WLS reports bird rescue groups kept an eye on the owl for a bit.
A similar incident happened just a few years ago. Back in 2011, the director of a wildlife rehabilitation organization described an injured great horned owl swimming across a Chicago creek better than she could.