Famous Central Park Owl Dies in Vehicular Collision

Farewell, Barry

Central Park
Central Park in the twilight.
Michal Dziekonski/Unsplash

Since the early days of the pandemic, numerous people have sought new activities to do outdoors. It’s not hard to see why — it’s both a safer option when it comes to the threat of COVID-19 and it offers a way to alleviate one’s boredom. New York City, for instance, has seen an uptick in birding. And this, in turn, has brought fame to some of the birds in Manhattan’s Central Park.

And that fame may be why the death of a barred owl is cause for mourning far outside of the five boroughs. At Curbed, Willy Blackmore wrote about an accident that took place involving a bird and a vehicle within Central Park. The bird in question, a barred owl that arrived on the scene last fall, quickly became a favorite of the park’s avian obsessives.

“Barry, as people called the owl, became part celebrity, part mascot,” writes Blackmore. And now, it seems, Barry has perished in a collision with a Central Park Conservancy vehicle. The park took to Twitter to announce Barry’s passing.

The article notes that “it’s the end of the longest-standing birding event of the pandemic.”

Countless birders were heartbroken. “We always knew she might fly away and start a family, but none of us were prepared for this,” photographer Eric Balcanoff told The New York Times. And it’s not hard to see why people are so affected by this — when the activity you turn to to avoid concerns over mortality turns out to abound with it, it makes for worrying times.

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