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Giant owl swoops on chipmunk but is foiled in hour-long hunt

Owl get you next time! Moment bird of prey swoops on tiny chipmunk hoping for a snack… only to be left with empty talons

  • The owl was filmed swooping on the four-and-a-half ounce mammal for an hour
  • Stunning predator had its talons outstretched as it hunted in Ontario, Canada
  • Digital media designer Kevin Biskaborn, 34, filmed the predator-prey encounter 

A chipmunk almost ended up as a light snack when it emerged from its burrow only to be swooped on by a giant owl.

Footage reveals the four-and-a-half ounce animal dashing for cover through snow drifts as the bird of prey glides in with its talons outstretched. 

The stunning predator-prey moment was filmed by digital media designer Kevin Biskaborn, 34, in Ontario, Canada.

sending it running for cover in a rotten tree

This is the moment an owl swoops on an eastern chipmunk in Ontario, Canada, sending it running for cover in a rotten tree

The owl dived on the chipmunk several times over an hour but failed to catch it

The owl dived on the chipmunk several times over an hour but failed to catch it

The clip begins with the owl dive-bombing the chipmunk as it sits next to a rotten tree trunk.

But it spots the danger just in time, and leaps to safety.

In a second scene the owl swoops low on the chipmunk as it wanders through a snowdrift, missing the mammal by inches.

It then gives chase, skidding over the snow with its talons outstretched, but the chipmunk manages to hop out of the way.

Mr Biskaborn, who took the footage, said: ‘The actual duration of the hunt was over an hour. In the majority of that time, the owl patiently waited on a nearby tree while the chipmunk squeaked from its hiding spot. As soon as the chipmunk got the courage to emerge and make a run for it, the owl would swoop again.

The owl was also filmed gliding over the snow with its talons outstretched

The owl was also filmed gliding over the snow with its talons outstretched

Digital media designer Kevin Biskaborn, 34, filmed the stunning predator-prey interaction

Digital media designer Kevin Biskaborn, 34, filmed the stunning predator-prey interaction

Eastern chipmunks

An eastern chipmunk

An eastern chipmunk

Scientific name: Tamius striatus

Weight: 4.5 ounces

Length: Up to 11 inches from tip to toe

Lifespan: Normally less than a year, but can live for up to five years

Litter size: Three to five babies

Does it hibernate?: Yes. During winter they sleep for weeks at a time, occasionally waking up to munch on nuts stored in their burrows

Source: Canadian Geographic

‘Both the owl and the chipmunk are wild and were not baited. The owl was not disturbed by the presence of myself or the camera and continued hunting.

‘I was amazed by the struggle that each animal was experiencing; a glimpse into the struggle that happens each day in nature.

‘The chipmunk was presumably trying to return to the safety of its underground home, but with the patience and persistence of the owl, it was continually flushed out of its hiding spot and forced to quickly find another.

‘The chase sequences happened incredibly fast in the moment. Only when the video is slowed down, can you truly appreciate the intensity of the pursuit with each animal performing lightning fast maneuvers while avoiding obstacles.

‘In one segment, the owl actually slides across the surface of the snow, like a fast-moving ice skater trying to stop quickly, in reaction to one of the quick turns by chipmunk.

‘I always maintain my distance while photographing wildlife and never bait any animal.

‘I started filming this owl and chipmunk from a respectful distance. During two of the sequences, the animals unpredictably and rapidly approached my position at which point I quickly backed off.’

The owl has been identified as a barred owl, while its prey has been identified as an eastern chipmunk. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk