Photographer and birder Steve Spitzer recently captured a rare sight at Loyola Park Beach in Chicago – a great horned owl swimming across a lake.
The bird had been attacked by two Peregrine Falcons and sought refuge in the water. Spitzer rushed to help the owl, but was surprised when it started swimming to safety.
The great horned owl is not a water bird, and it sw am almost like a human, keeping its head above the water and doing a breast stroke. Finding an owl confronted by two falcons over water in daylight is also quite unusual. The great horned owl is not native to water, and it is also a nocturnal animal.
At this time of year, young owls have to leave their parents’ territories and find their own. In this case, the area belonged to falcons, which are very territorial.
The young owl may have been exploring its new territory when it was attacked by the falcons.
The great horned owl is one of the largest and most powerful owls in North America. It is known for its distinctive ear tufts and yellow eyes. It is also a skilled hunter, preying on a variety of animals, including rabbits, rodents, and other birds.
Despite its size and strength, the great horned owl is not invincible. It is vulnerable to attacks from other birds of prey, such as falcons and eagles. It is also threatened by habitat loss and other human activities.
Spitzer’s photos of the great horned owl swimming have gone viral, capturing the attention of bird enthusiasts and nature lovers around the world.
The images are a reminder of the beauty and resilience of nature, and the importance of protecting our wildlife and their habitats.
In conclusion, the great horned owl swimming across a lake in Chicago is a rare and remarkable sight. The bird’s ability to swim to safety despite being attacked by two falcons is a testament to its strength and adaptability.
Spitzer’s photos of the owl have captured the world’s attention, reminding us of the beauty and fragility of nature. As we continue to encroach on wildlife habitats, it is important to remember our responsibility to protect and preserve our natural world.