A beloved barred owl who died after colliding with a park maintenance vehicle Friday will be remembered in a vigil Monday, which will be held under her favorite tree by the boathouse in Central Park.
The owl is believed to be Barry who became a local celebrity after she took up residence in the park last year and sat calmly through countless sightings and photos by birdwatchers.
Around 2:30 a.m. Friday, a Central Park Conservancy maintenance vehicle was driving “slowly using lights and flashers on the West Drive (in low 60s) doing routine park maintenance when the accidental collision occurred,” said a spokesperson for the CPC, in an email.
While the spokesperson said the Conservancy cannot confirm that the owl is indeed Barry, the CPC had announced the news “with a heavy heart” on social media Friday, noting that the owl was “flying low, likely in search of a meal” when the vehicle collided with the bird.
“The barred owl’s presence in Central Park brought so much joy, reminding all of us that the Park is a vital greenspace for all New Yorkers, including the wildlife that call it home,” the Conservancy said.
Barry was just over a year old, according to the New York Times, based on the coloring of her feathers, and became a fan favorite for her expressive eyes and her unflappable demeanor, maintaining her presence even as birdwatchers approached mere feet away
“Like so many, Barry captivated us and brought us an incredible amount of joy during an extremely tough time for our city,” said the unknown creators of the Barry the Barred Owl twitter account Friday. “We anticipated that one day she may fly away to find a mate, but never imagined she would be taken like this. We are utterly heartbroken, frankly, angry, and we are mourning alongside you.”