Hoo boy! That was close.
Swimming in a lake is not an ideal situation for an owl. That's why this footage shot by Steve Spitzer of one doing the butterfly stroke in Lake Michigan is so unusual. This Great Horned Owl crashed into the waters of Loyola Park Beach in Chicago to avoid being caught by a pair of peregrine falcons that were chasing him. The bird doesn't look too happy, but neither would you if you wound up in a lake in December after nearly being eaten alive. Spitzer said animal rescue was called, but the owl had already made it to shore and flown off before they arrived.
As unusual as the footage is, maybe the strangest thing about it is that a guy had an opportunity to film an owl swimming in a lake and decided that 9 seconds was plenty. We've all developed pretty short attention spans, but c'mon.
(by Jonathan Corbett)