Many thanks to Kevin Biskaborn for sending us this wonderful footage.
As warmer spring weather melts the snow in Canada, an eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) ventures out of hibernation only to be immediately hunted by a barred owl (Strix varia).
Three chase sequences shown in order as they happened. The actual duration of the hunt, from initial discovery to the successful catch, 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 pounce again.
I stumbled across this pursuit in progress and began filming. 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. Some of the footage is blurry shots as it was taken from a distance. Filmed at an undisclosed location in Ontario, Canada.
Please note: 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.
For more of Kevin’s nature photography check out: http://www.instagram.com/kevinbiskaborn