Whoooooo's that in the distance?
That was the question on Pentti Taskinen's lips when he was paddling out on Finland's Lake Tuusula on Sunday. Once his kayaker got closer, he noticed that the moving figure jutting out of the water was not an otter or another marine mammal, but an owl.
Fearing the bird would die of hypothermia, Taskinen rowed closer and helped the owl onto the front of his kayak, Finnish daily newspaper Ilta-Sanomat reports. That's when he snapped this incredibly striking photo:
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Isn't it just the cutest? We can't even.
After the owl climbed aboard, it cuddled up to Taskinen and nestled itself partially under his life vest while he paddled back to shore. (Awww.) Once the bird -- believed to be a northern hawk owl -- dried off and regained its strength, it was able to fly away on its own.
Northern hawk owls are primarily found in Alaska and Canada, however a widespread population also exists in parts of Scandinavia. Named after hawks for their similar hunting techniques, northern hawk owls are not nocturnal like most owls are and instead prey on small mammals when the sun is high in the sky.