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It’s true: Owls can climb.

That’s what local photographer Harris Mallory discovered at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony. He spotted a baby great horned owl who had fallen from its nest.

Then he watched in amazement as the unharmed bird, that was too young to fly, climbed to safety.

Here’s how it happened:

This young owl fell from its nest in a tree in late April.

Harris Mallory

Guided by instinct, the owl made its way to the tree, where it used its talons and its bill to pull itself up. It also used its wings for balance.

Harris Mallory

Young owls also have a unique appendage that helps them climb: remnant claws on the wings that are likely a throwback to the great horned owls’ primitive ancestor. (The wing claws usually fall off in a year.)

Harris Mallory

Look at him go.

Harris Mallory

It took the brave little owl about a half hour to make the 20-foot climb to safety.

Harris Mallory