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Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

Six spirit animals that every New Yorker can relate to

Written by
Cleo Bergman

It might be hard to believe, but there is more to New York's animal kingdom than pigeons and dogs. From a species of owls that were once endangered to a majestic type of hawk, the city's wildlife is surprisingly diverse. Here is a list of animals that you may or may not have known to be your spirit animal of NYC.

Pizza rat

Photograph: YouTube

You can't just go home after a night of partying without something to eat. This is the moment when New Yorkers most resemble the city's best meme of 2015: pizza rat. Who hasn't staggered down the subway steps at 4am with a slice in hand? The hungry rodent speaks volumes about our nightlife choices.

Red-tailed hawk

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

We all strive to be this elegant and imposing. If you’re the type that sits on a stoop openly smoking a joint, or the straphanger that (rightfully) forces a fellow train rider to stop manspreading, then this spirit animal is calling your name. They're even known to build nests on expensive pieces of property (including the famous co-op on 5th avenue). These hawks couldn't give a damn about your life—unless you make it their business.

Great horned owl

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that New York is home to these proud-looking owls? If not, it's probably because they’re very good at hiding by day and being active at night. Sound familiar? That's pretty much the same as watching Netflix all day and then going out at 11pm, right?

Black Squirrel

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

We know too well about the fuzzy grey rodents that reside in parks around town, but when we spot a black squirrel, even the most jaded New Yorker has to pause and gander at the sight of the rare creature. This majestic squirrel is your destined spirit animal if you too are a show-stopper and a change maker.

Shark on the N train

Ever found yourself somewhere in the city that you're pretty certain you shouldn't be? Like, say, the wrong train? So did this poor little guy. We've all been a fish out of water here at some point. 


Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

These bandit-eyed critters are serious troublemakers. They pillage garbage cans, run around the streets like they own ‘em and scare us from time to time—but man, are they adorable! Many of us like to think we’re the perfect combination of troubling and downright cute, just like the lovable (albeit terrifying) raccoon.

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