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Snowy Owl Holds Its Own In Duel With Peregrine Falcon On Chicago's Lakefront

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 1, 2012 8:00PM

The migration of the snowy owl from far north to the lakefront has been a boon for local birders since the first one was spotted along Montrose Harbor in November. One local avian enthusiast recently captured how badass the snowy Owl can be when crossed.

Rick Remington originally shared these photos of a duel between a snowy owl and a Peregrine Falcon at Montrose Harbor in late January with the website, North American Birding. Here's how Remington explained the duel.

"[The owl] would do a somersault just as the Peregrine approached and flash its nasty talons in an attempt to scare off the Falcon. The battle lasted for 5 full minutes before the Falcon headed off in another direction and the Snowy Owl flew down to the rocks by the lake. It was a surprisingly violent and noisy encounter, with both birds shrieking loudly and the owl extending its giant wings to intimidate the smaller falcon. I fully expected this to end badly for the owl based on what I was watching. In spite of the obvious mismatch, the Snowy Owl managed to hold its own and escape unscathed."

NAB's Greg Neise noted the Peregrine is one of a pair that nests on the lakefront and both birds have been known to escort other predators away from what is their hunting turf. That the snowy owl managed to defend itself against the falcon, and for Remington to capture the duel, is an amazing feat we're glad to see in pictures.