The owl is a nocturnal bird that is often shrouded in mystery and legend. Because it is rarely seen during the day, this is the case. What’s stranger and more weird is seeing an owl during the day and discovering it swimming! I wouldn’t believe it unless I saw it, but owls can truly execute the breast stroke, much to my amazement. Steve Spitzer, a bird enthusiast and photographer, recorded a great horned owl swimming in Lake Michigan on video. He had first seen the owl dive into the water to avoid peregrine falcons, and fearing that it would perish, Spritzer had attempted to save it.
The owl didn’t seem bothered or in need of assistance, as it used its wings like arms to move its body forward in the water and gracefully swam towards the river’s shore. With its head elevated high above the water, the bird demonstrated that the breast stroke isn’t just for people. This uncommon film was shot in Loyola Park, which is located near Chicago Rogers Park.
The overall scenario of a swimming owl is peculiar because a territorial Falcon in these places is awake during the day and hence diurnal. The owl is nocturnal, meaning it is awake at night. This prompts the question, “What was an owl doing attempting to avoid Falcons in broad daylight?” Because their paths should never have crossed in the first place.
The issue took a weird turn when the owl had to swim to get away from territorial falcons that chased it out of the sky or wherever owls congregate during the day. Seeing that the bird was in danger, Spritzer was concerned and swiftly summoned the bird rescue squad. They were unnecessary since the owl swam to safety, away from the commotion.
According to Geoff Le Baron, a predatory specialist, it’s likely that around that time of year, young owls were being expelled from their nests and forced to fend for themselves, and that this rapid introduction to self-sufficiency drove our owl to hunt during the day. It’s possible that this caused him to be in the wrong location at the wrong time, while the falcons were patrolling their area.
While huge birds swimming in water is not unusual, it generally occurs when they wish to fish or have caught a large fish and are unable to take flight due to the weight. Even worse, because owls do not consume fish, they would be extremely unusual to find in water.
Forests, towns, backyards, deserts, meadows, and pretty much everywhere else are all good places to look for this huge owl. This is understandable given the Great Horned Owl’s abundance and natural range in the Americas. It’s conceivable that this owl’s capacity to adapt to different environments helped it traverse the lake.
He wishes the video footage he captured was longer, since the video appears to have gone viral. He claims that, despite its length, the video and its substance are excellent.