Monday, December 19, 2005

Great Horned Owl in Central Park

Here are some pictures of the great Great Horned Owl that showed up during yesterday's Christmas Count. The photographer, Bruce Yolton, sent them yesterday, a few hours after the owl flew out. I thought I had posted them immediately, but I must have pushed the wrong button. So here they are, with Bruce's notes and comments:

From Bruce [12/18/05].:

This Great Horned Owl was in the Oven today I arrived just as the light was fading at 4:30. The owl few out around 5:10 stopping in a tree just to west of the path on the west side of the Oven. Then it flew off due west towards the Lake. Beautiful, graceful flyer on a crystal clear night.

I see from the NYC Bird Report that there was also a Northern Saw-whet in the park today.

Did these two owls arrive for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count? It's almost as though they want to get their kids into Dalton or something and needed to make sure they got recorded in the census as living in a good neighborhood.

PS from Marie: The two owls found yesterday are perfect examples of a phenomenon known as the Patagonia Picnic-table Effect. If many good birders converge on a single spot [in this case Central Park] many more unusual birds are bound to be found than under normal circumstances. Odds are the birds are not as unusual there -- just sighted less often. I tell more about this in Red-tails in Love - on p.25.