Did you know owls could swim? Neither did we, until we saw this short clip captured by a Chicago-based photographer and bird-watcher. Steve Spitzer was at Loyola Park Beach when he spotted a Great Horned Owl going for a dip in Lake Michigan.
While the bird is no Michael Phelps, it does execute a decent butterfly stroke to stay afloat. Remarkably, the bird doesn’t display any signs of distress or panic, although according to Spitzer it was in the lake after being forced down out of the air by a falcon attack.
According to reports, Spitzer wasn’t able to get any of the falcon attack on film as he, and other beachgoers, were busy trying to chase the aggressors away. Spitzer said it was two Peregrine Falcons that brought down the owl.
Although bird rescue services were called, the owl flew off on its own—after a brief period or resting on the sandy beach to dry-off— without requiring any care.
Surprised by the popularity of the clip that has gone viral online, Spitzer expressed regret that he hadn’t shot a longer video of the bird’s short swim.
Watch the video above to see the bird’s swim, and check out the clip below to see the owl enjoying some beach time in the sun.