Did it escape from a zoo? First ‘Arctic’ snowy owl seen in Central Park, New York in 130 years

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Extremely rare snowy owl spotted in Central Park, New York in February 2021. Picture via Youtube video

I know, it’s cold right now in the US, and the next 10 days are going to be even worseBut wait! I have never heard of a snowy owl in Central Park… At least not in the last 130 years!

And even for an avid birdwatcher: ‘It was the best, most unusual spotting I had had.

A week later, the rare event happened again, with social media reports from the popular Manhattan Bird Alert Twitter account documenting another sighting of a snowy owl in Central Park on Wednesday.

It wasn’t clear whether it was the same owl, but experts said before the second spotting that it was possible another one could come back to the area soon.

Snowy owls can be spotted every year during the winter months around the Great Lakes and Northeast. Some years, however, there are large irruption events when many birds come down from the Arctic and can be more widely spotted. In some of the rarest of cases, they have been reported in Florida and Bermuda.

It’s just as likely that another snowy owl appears in Central Park tomorrow as it is that another documented case doesn’t occur again for another 130 years. They’re just really unpredictable.

1 Comment

  1. Flying tigers is what they are. They are stealth bombers.

    Owls migrate too, sometimes they stop off along the way. Probably lots of rats and pigeons. When it is cold they eat about 25% of their body weight. Breeding times are end of December through February out here. Then mama owls teach their baby owlets how to kill baby crows and ravens in March/April. That’s why they hate each other so much.

    We have Greater horned owls. Magellanics, and Pacific Northwest. We have screech owls, and barn owls. Not as many as Greater horned owls, but they pop by at night too. They can kill a 15lb New Zealnad rabbit. The Greater Horned owls weigh around 3-4lbs. Their talons are huge. They are flying tigers. Females are slightly bigger. Males have more mass on talons. They are relentless when hungry. Lost well over 30 chickens in five years. They hunt around first light, if nothing good happned in the wee hours.
    So let your chickens out around 0700hrs. Owls will hunt after sunrise too, so let your dog outside when feeding chickens. Kinda keeps things from being massacred.

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