Owls do not usually swim because their feathers are not waterproof. Additionally, they are completely defenseless in the water and must dry off on land before they can fly. So why was this young owl in the water?
image credit: RKfilms
Geoff LeBaron from the National Audubon Society told National Geographic that the owl was likely exploring the world on his own for one of the first times. “I suspect it actually fell out of the nest,” LeBaron commented. “Great horned [owls] do nest on ledges on cliffs…”
A group from Jackson Hole Bible College were hiking in a slot canyon (Face Canyon) in Lake Powell and this owl was flying low (we assumed to try and chase us off). At one point, it even swam in front of us (as seen in this video). Powell Trip, May 2016.
It’s unsure what exactly happened to the bird after Derrick stopped filming, but experts are hopeful the owl is just fine. “This bird is young enough that the parents were probably still caring for it, so hopefully once the folks go by, the bird dried off and its parents found it.”