Central Park’s Snowy Owl Drawing Huge Crowds, Even Celebrities


The crowd. Photo by @birdcentralpark.

Central Park’s Snowy Owl is the hottest attraction in the city right now. The bird is drawing crowds of more than 100 even when temperatures have fallen below 20 degrees at night.

A snowy owl is extremely rare and hasn’t been documented in New York in more than 100 years.


The owl. Photo by @birdcentralpark.

The owl has been seen in a few spots but most recently has been popping up at the Reservoir, on a structure there called the North Pumphouse around West 92nd Street. Crowds tend to gather there after 6 p.m. Birdwatchers say that people shouldn’t bring lights or use flashes — they could scare the owl away.

Even comedian Steve Martin has been in the area, recently tweeting out a photo of the crowds. (it’s not clear if he was just taking a walk or is a himself an owl-watcher.)

Here’s another shot of the owl using special film and a super-slow shutter speed.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 20 comments | permalink
    1. Deep Thought says:

      Superb Owl – kudos for the “What we do in shadows” call out

    2. Truth and Reason says:

      I get people want to see it, but at what point are the crowds invading this poor thing’s habitat? Leave it alone.

      • Nevada Rancher says:

        @truth and reason; the owl is invading OUR habitat!! LOL

      • Kim says:

        My reaction to seeing all those people was leave the owl alone too. Back up and keep your distance people. How is the owl supposed to find prey with a gaggle of human beings all around?

    3. MR. BACCIAGALUPE says:

      IT IS OFFICIAL!!!! THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD…

    4. Shawnae Murray says:

      I find it super interesting I believe this is the same snowy owl that was in Albany NY in January than made ita way towards the city

    5. Ruth worrell Lee says:

      Best news lately, rather see the owl than people

    6. Thomas Richard Knight says:

      Love the color of the eyes against the feather coat.

    7. Linux barry says:

      Spotted all white Owl on chimney stack in Philadelphia, kid at the time, 1979 in elementary school, was very distracted by the owl, it’s size with brilliant white feathers, watched it for hours from classroom window, I knew even then that was a very rare thing, wondering if I can get another chance in my lifetime.

    8. susan says:

      west Side Rag has been Animal Kingdom these last two days — I love it. Snowy Owls & Kestrels & Coyotes Oh My!

    9. Birdwatcher says:

      I saw the snowy owl sitting on top of the gazebo on W. 77th St. off Park Drive next to the lake today at 4pm. Then he flew into the ramble’s in a flash!

    10. Margott Mattison says:

      The Owl is a harbinger of hope a shining angel of hope😃

    11. Linda says:

      Leave Snowy Owl Alone.
      Now. Before he flies goes away.

      • Linda Wissbrun says:

        Nevada Rancher: I think the owl was here way before us, so we keep taking their habitat from them

    12. Birding101 says:

      People are so ignorant. Leave and stop invading her territory. If this continues she will never come back to this spot. People who don’t bird don’t know the consequences to interupting her stay. BACK OFF

    13. Ron rarry says:

      Must be climate change…

    14. Heather Hacking says:

      How divine you lucky Central Parkers. I’m in London and we do not have a snowy owl. But we are very jealous. Enjoy. Heather Hacking. Heatherhacking1@gmail.com

    15. Merv Kaufman says:

      This is an extraordinary photograph—the best one yet. No wonder getting to see this splendid creature has been so memorable!

    16. CityGirl54 says:

      I would love to see this beautiful owl, but I don’t want to disturb it. I’m sure the crowds are unnerving. It must feel like a celebrity pursued by paparazzi!