12/05/2014 02:24 pm ET Updated Dec 05, 2014

Owl Coolly Swims Through Lake Michigan After Falcon Attack

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.



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