New Yorkers were in for a surprise on Wednesday, January 27, when they spotted a beautiful snowy owl in New York City’s Central Park. People gathered to get a glimpse of the owl — which experts say has not been seen in over a century.
The New York Times reported that this is the first time in 130 years that a snowy owl has been spotted in New York’s Central Park.
— Joel Lowden (@bostexnyc) January 28, 2021
Paul Sweet, the collection manager of the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History, the last recorded sighting of a snowy owl in Central Park dates back to 1890.
It was truly wonderful to get the opportunity to see the historic rare appearance of the Snowy Owl in Central Park in NYC even for a moment. (1/27/2021) #NaturePhotography #SnowyOwl #birdcp #birdphotography #wildlife pic.twitter.com/PGOt97Y6ML
— Vee Nabong (@VenusNabs) January 28, 2021
I've been asked by a few people about the historic record of Snowy Owl in Central Park. The only one I can find is mid-December 1890 by an L. S. Foster. Published in Proceedings of Linnaean Society of New York, no. 3. 1891, 6. @LinnaeanNY
— Paul Sweet (@pablo_dulce) January 27, 2021
The rare bird’s appearance created a buzz across social media, which was soon flooded with pictures. People gathered at Central Park in the morning to watch the snowy owl as it mingled with other birds. Some even called it a historic sighting.
The SNOWY OWL of the Central Park North Meadow was not much bothered by the crows that gathered around it earlier and that have now returned. People are staying behind distant fences and being quiet and respectful. pic.twitter.com/BKjGPRiKCZ
— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) January 27, 2021
Snowy owls, which migrate south during the winter, are native to the Arctic tundra. CBS New York reported that they are more often spotted in Long Island or at beaches.
Just incredible to see a Snowy owl in Central Park yesterday! It's only the second time one has been recorded in the park, the first time being in 1890! Thanks to those that reported the sighting so that so many were able to see this spectacular bird! #birdcp #centralparkbirds pic.twitter.com/ywESRToY8M
— Bradley Kane (@WinoBradNY) January 28, 2021
As soon as news of the Central Park appearance spread, authorities urged people to be cautious while trying to get a glimpse of the bird.