Saturday, October 29, 2005

Screech Owl Fly-out

Photo by Cal Vornberger -- October 28, 2005

The little red-phase screech owl that has been roosting in a tree in the Ramble for the last three or so weeks left its daytime roost-hole for its night hunting at 6:08 p.m. today. A little crowd of people, including two photographers, were there to watch his/her exit. The owl, in turn, seemed to survey the audience with some curiosity, or so it seemed to us.

Owl etiquette does not allow me to be specific about the bird's location -- the Central Park "nature community" is very protective of its owls, and rightly so. Since owls are predictible and often sleep in the same location day after day, it's important to make sure that owl locations are not transmitted to anyone who might want to harm them in any way. If you are a birder who has come to Central Park in search of a known owl roost, your binoculars are usually your best credentials: other birders in the know will lead you to the owl.