A northern hawk owl that was discovered floundering on the surface of a Finnish lake, and shivering in the nearly frozen water, was rescued by a good Samaritan aboard a canoe.
Pentti Taskinen plucked the sodden bird from Lake Tuusula and placed it onto the deck of his canoe. He then captured some telling images that reveal a creature that seemed weary, but grateful to have received a helping hand.
As Taskinen paddled to shore, the small owl tucked its head into part of a life jacket to warm itself. Once on the shore, the bird dried itself and flew off.
Taskinen told the Finnish-language Ilta-Sanomat that the critter most likely would have succumbed to hypothermia, very quickly, had he not come along.
The paddler spotted the owl from a distance and at first thought it was an otter. It looked scared and at first tried to escape the oncoming canoe. But then it turned toward the vessel, as if realizing it represented a possible escape from the frigid water.
Taskinen believes that relentless crows forced the owl into the water.
Northern hawk owls, unlike other owl species, hunt during the day and night. Their typical range is North America, but they have been found in Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Norway.
They’re medium-sized owls, with wingspans that typically do not exceed 28 inches. They’re capable of detecting prey from a distance of up to a half-mile.
–Hat tip to TheBigLead.com
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