Watch An Owl Perform An Elegant Butterfly Stroke

Henceforth to be known as the owl stroke

Swimming Owl

Screenshot

Photographer Steve Spitzer was walking through Loyola Beach in Chicago when he came across an odd sight: A Great Horned Owl... swimming in Lake Michigan.

Apparently the owl had been attacked by two Peregrine falcons and retreated into the water for safety. Onlookers scared the falcons away, and the owl flew away unharmed. The video is short but mesmerizing:

Believe it or not, this isn't the first occurrence of owls taking a skinny-dip. It seems to be quite common, actually. In 2011, birder Dawn Keller spotted another great horned owl paddling in a creek. And snowy owls have been known to take the plunge, too. Skip ahead to 1:30 in the video below:

Presumably the birds’ hollow bones and aerodynamic shape make them pretty well-suited for short aquatic stints.