This morning’s bird walk with Birding Bob was cancelled due to yesterday’s blizzard, and the remaining cold, snow and wind. However, Charlie and I noticed on Twitter that a Great Horned Owl was spotted in the northern part of Central Park, not far from where we live. Charlie and I decided to go looking for the owl after we went sledding. We took Charlie’s friend Aadi with us, and went on our first bird walk without Birding Bob. Our strategy was to find other birders, hoping they would find the owl, and that we just had to find them. After an hour, we saw no owl and no birders. In fact, we saw no birds at all, so we gave up and headed home. As we were approaching our apartment building, about 100 yards into the park, we saw a woman and two of her friends looking up at a tree. The woman looked backed at me and put a finger over her mouth to suggest to be quiet, and then pointed up at the tree. It took me a minute to find what she was pointing at, but then I saw it. There was a beautiful Great Horned Owl right in front of me. I waved to Charlie and Aadi to come over, and then I did my best to take a picture of the owl. Thankfully Charlie and Aadi saw the owl and I got a picture of it just before it flew away. Finding the owl felt like finding a needle in a haystack. For the rest of the day, about every twenty-minutes or so, I turned to Charlie and said, “I can’t believe we found the owl”!  Below is a picture of the owl and a list of all the birds we’ve seen so far in our 2022 Big Central Park Year, with one new addition—a Great Horned Owl. 

Great Horned Owl

Charlie and Aadi

2022 Central Park Big Year: Complete Bird List

(bold = saw today; * = saw for first time)

  1. Mallard
  2. Hooded Merganser
  3. Great Blue Heron
  4. Cooper's Hawk
  5. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  6. Blue Jay
  7. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  8. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  9. Brown Creeper
  10. American Robin
  11. House Sparrow
  12. Northern Cardinal
  13. Rock Pigeon
  14. White-throated Sparrow
  15. European Starling
  16. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  17. Red-tailed Hawk
  18. Great Horned Owl*


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