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Owl spotted swimming in Lake Michigan, caught on camera

Dec 4, 2014

A screenshot of the owl from the YouTube video.
Credit Steve Spitzer / screenshot YouTube

A Chicago photographer and birder saw something swimming in Lake Michigan, and it was not a hardy winter athlete taking an Arctic plunge.

The photographer, Steve Spitzer, captured on video a great horned owl doing a vigorous breast stroke in the water off of Loyola Park Beach in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood. 

That's according to Chicago's WGN-TV, which also reported that Spitzer had learned from a fellow birder that the owl had been forced into the lake by two peregrine falcons.

Spitzer uploaded the video to YouTube on Tuesday where it has been viewed almost 30,000 times. You can watch the video below:

On Wednesday, Spitzer posted to Facebook, "If I had known he would be so popular, I would have shot a longer video."

Spitzer said bird rescue was called, but the owl flew away.

Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom