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Owl Lost At Sea Takes A Boat Ride Home


Two fishermen and friends captured the unexpected moment an owl landed on their fishing rod. The owl appeared disoriented after straying approximately 20 miles/ 32 kilometers out at sea. Read on to learn what happened!

Two guys out fishing save owl lost 20 miles from shore in Sarasota Florida. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: PPV-TAHOE

What Happened?

Boreal Owl
Boreal Owl. Image by martin_kubik via Depositphotos

They bundled up the owl in a warm towel and headed to shore where the owl could feel more at home. After a while, the owl is seen sitting peacefully as the man gently holds it, accompanied by the text overlay saying, “Nearly back home, my friend.” The video concludes with the owl standing on the man’s fingers, ready for its departure home. Upon the man’s encouragement with a “Go,” it takes flight. The caption adds, “Farewell, buddy.” Their cheers and cries of “Free bird” echo as it soars away. Yet, the most heartwarming aspect of the video is how the man cradles the owl while it accompanies them.

How Far Can Owls Fly?

A Spotted Owl flies down to catch a mouse.
A Spotted Owl flies down to catch a mouse. By Mount Rainier National Park from Ashford, WA, United States – Female Spotted Owl, Public Domain,, via Wikimedia Commons

Owls are known to travel several kilometers each night as they hunt for food and patrol their territories. But, it is important to mention that not all owl species are strong migrators. Some might take seasonal migrations in search of food or nesting sites, while others live more sedentary lives – perfectly happy in their territory!

Do Owls Fly Out To Sea?

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Image via Pixabay

It is quite unusual for most owl species to be seen flying over open bodies of water. Owls hunt in terrestrial areas, and their flight patterns are associated with woodlands and grassland areas. This makes flying out to see unusual behavior for owls, as it is out of their normal hunting range. Although some owl species hunt near bodies of water like rivers or lakes, they aren’t well-adapted to the open ocean.

Rare Encounter

Surprised Northern Saw-whet Owl. Image via depositphotos.

This encounter of an owl landing on a fishing rod 20 miles out at sea is quite unusual and likely an uncommon occurrence. It’s possible that the owl in that particular case was disoriented, exhausted, or facing some other exceptional circumstance that led it to venture so far from its typical habitat. Luckily for the poor fella he could hitch a ride back to shore in style, and whilst making two trustworthy friends.

A Good Deed Done

Screenshot from YouTube video: Two guys out fishing save owl lost 20 miles from shore in Sarasota Florida. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: PPV-TAHOE

If the two fishermen hadn’t found the owl 20 miles out at sea, its chances of survival would likely have been very slim. Owls are not adapted for life over open water, as their hunting and survival strategies are geared toward terrestrial environments. I’m sure the fishermen and owls alike will recount this miraculous event for life.

If you’re a bird lover, have a read here:

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