One of the sounds park-goers heard in Central Park was the distinctive baritone hoot of the Barred Owl. According to National Audubon Society, it sounds like someone saying, “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all?”.
While these striking owls are nocturnal, they have been seen hunting and calling during the day. But it was a quiet day in the park on August 6 after a beloved Barred Owl, known as Barry, was killed in the early morning hours.
Central Park Conservancy shared the sad news on Twitter.
“It’s with a heavy heart we share that a barred owl, a beloved Central Park resident, passed away early this morning. Flying low, likely in search of a meal, the barred owl made contact with a Conservancy maintenance vehicle at approximately 2:30 am.”
It’s with a heavy heart we share that a barred owl, a beloved Central Park resident, passed away early this morning. pic.twitter.com/AYEV0gXZIr
— Central Park (@CentralParkNYC) August 6, 2021
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Park rangers were contacted but Barry did not survive. “The barred owl’s presence in Central Park brought so much joy, reminding all of us that the Park is a vital greenspace for all New Yorkers, including the wildlife that call it home,” concluded the post.
Barry was a welcomed sight to birdwatchers with her speckled chest and large black eyes. She rose in popularity during the pandemic and even had her own Twitter and Instagram page. She will be missed.
heck, time flies and so do I 🦉 https://t.co/UiGpCADedO
— Barry the Barred Owl (@BarryBarredOwl) June 1, 2021
“Words cannot express our devastation at the loss of our bea-hoot-iful Barry,” wrote the authors of the page. “We are utterly heartbroken, frankly, angry, and we are mourning with you.”
People around the country took to social media to pay their respects to the owl and share photos of the beautiful bird.
Precious memory with a precious subject. The #CentralPark barred #owl looking at her reflection. She was special not just bc she was rare and beautiful, but also bc she had so much personality—and permitted us to see that personality. RIP Barry. #birdcpp #bird #nature #wildlife pic.twitter.com/72zEa0jpgM
— David Lei (@davidlei) August 8, 2021
One admirer said, “Precious memory with a precious subject. The #CentralPark barred #owl looking at her reflection. She was special not just bc she was rare and beautiful, but also bc she had so much personality—and permitted us to see that personality. RIP Barry.”
A vigil is being held in her honor by her old hemlock tree on August 9 at 6:30 pm. It marks not only her untimely death but also her 10-month anniversary in the park.
Some tributes to the BARRED OWL already chalked on the path underneath her hemlock in the Central Park Ramble. pic.twitter.com/GVeH440xXQ
— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) August 7, 2021
Bird lovers and concerned residents hope Central Park Conservancy, which is responsible for the care of the park, will stop driving around during peak hunting times for nocturnal animal to avoid another tragedy.
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