The rare appearance of a snowy owl in New York City is giving people something to get excited about this winter. The owl was spotted in Central Park on Wednesday, and shortly thereafter the park was filled with onlookers eager to see the rare bird. The owl was sighted in the middle of the ballfields, which is unsurprising given snowy owls favor flat, sandy areas for watching prey.
The Manhattan Bird Alert Twitter account posted an update saying, “The SNOWY OWL on a west ballfield of the Central Park North Meadow, perhaps the first-ever documented record of this species in the park, with its new buddy, an American Crow.”
David Barrett, a birder who runs the Twitter account, told Patch, “It probably ends up in Brooklyn or Queens, or it might even keep going farther east and end up in Long Island.”
The 2nd record for Snowy Owl in Central Park was a treat today, especially when a Red-tailed Hawk repeatedly made low passes. We're all lucky to have seen it. Thanks @BirdCentralPark for the alerts. And thanks @BirdingBobNYC for driving over from State Line Lookout. #birdcp pic.twitter.com/PgteVh6Cg8
— Deborah Allen (@DAllenNYC) January 28, 2021
Snowy owls spend the summer in the Arctic, where they breed, and then fly south during the winter to New England, New York, and the Upper Midwest. The sighting is notable because no snowy owls have been spotted in Central Park for at least 30 years, and given the relative lack of things to do these days, it was likely the highlight of New Yorkers’ entire winter.