Friday, January 11, 2008


Photo by M. Winn

Central Park owl update: Right now the park is owl city: A pair of long-eared owls has been in residence in the Pinetum for weeks. And yesterday Pat Pollack saw a third one!!

And there seem to be SEVEN [count 'em, 7] screech-owls in the park right now: a pair near the model boat-pond, a pair in the North Woods, a pair on the park's west side, a bit south of 72nd Street, and a single owl in the Ramble. This is not a final count--just the way it seems to the eager owlers who are following these birds in the park.

All these pairs have commenced their breeding season [as is usual for Central Park owls, they are breeding more than a month earlier than any state records indicate screech-owls should be breeding]. One pair seems to be incubating already. It's very very exciting. And to think that a year ago we had a terrible suspicion that there were no more screech owls in Central Park. How wrong we were!

PS What is that picture above? It shows the contents of a Great Horned Owl pellet that was dissected by a small group of us a few years ago. The former owner of the bones was identified: Rattus norvegicus better known as the Norway Rat.

For breaking news, check out Bruce Yolton's website: Http://