Move over hot duck—"hot owl" is in town!
A gorgeous, white snowy owl, (think Harry Potter's owl Hedwig) took Manhattan by storm this week when it was spotted in Central Park. It's the first time since 1890 that its species has been spotted in Central Park, according to Paul Sweet, the collection manager of the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History.
Bird watchers and enthusiasts gathered at the park on Wednesday morning to see it hanging out in a fenced-off baseball field in the park's North Meadow, according to Gothamist.
The SNOWY OWL on a west ballfield of the Central Park North Meadow, perhaps the first-ever documented record of this species in the park, with its new buddy, an American Crow. pic.twitter.com/jtiuPB1VRL— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) January 27, 2021
They're usually spotted at shorefront parks, enjoying the sandy dunes and it's very rare to see them in Manhattan, according to the NYC Parks Department.
They're best viewed through binoculars or scopes from a distance. In fact, there are some rules when dealing with owls that the Linnaean Society of New York shared, including staying quiet, limiting your time and not shining any sort of light on them:
Everyone loves owls! They delight and captivate but our behavior shouldn’t impact theirs. Check out, and please share, our suggestions for enjoying these extraordinary birds responsibly. https://t.co/gMxL8drAkg pic.twitter.com/NwBg21uC5d— The Linnaean Society of New York (@LinnaeanNY) January 8, 2021
It's also best not to share the location of the snowy owl when you do see it in order to protect it and respect its space.
As of Thursday, no sightings were reported—could it have been a special, one-time-only appearance? Hoo knows, but some enterprising New Yorker went ahead and made it a Twitter account:
Been in Weehawken. Couldn’t get any PR. Take a dump in Central Park—now I’m famous. https://t.co/YXGaM2MoLM— Central Park Snowy Owl (@CentralParkOwl) January 28, 2021
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