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.
“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.”
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
“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.
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.
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.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.