Barred Owls

SHAKESPEARE, THE BAR(RE)D OF CENTRAL PARK

The first owl I saw in Central Park was a saw-whet, in April 2013. The next time I heard about an owl in the park was July 2013, when one was spotted high in a pine in the Pinetum. When I was told the owl's name, in my head I spelled it "B-A-R-D," and wondered why I couldn't find a reference to a "bard owl." I finally figured out it was a barred owl, which made more sense. But I still think of this owl as the "poet" of the owls. 

Barred owl, Pelham Bay Park, January 9, 2019

Barred owl, Pelham Bay Park, January 9, 2019

On April 26, 2017, a barred owl took up temporary residence in the Ramble and provided a joyful day for all who saw him (I'm going with him, even though no one knew for sure whether he was a he or a she). The owl was fairly low, and preened and stretched and kept an eye on all the photographers and binocular-raising birders who came to witness his majesty. I named the owl Shakespeare (I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who called him that, but after all, he was a "bard owl" and the Delacorte Theater wasn't that far away!). And of course, I made a Filming the Feathers video.

Barred owl, April 26, 2017, the Ramble, Central Park

Barred owl, April 26, 2017, the Ramble, Central Park

So here's to Shakespeare, the Bard of Central Park! And here are photos and some of Shakespeare's poetry.

“The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots and wonders / At out quaint spirits.” —  A Midsummer Night's Dream

“The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots and wonders / At out quaint spirits.” — A Midsummer Night's Dream

"The night to th’ owl and morn to th’ lark less welcome. " — Cymbeline

"The night to th’ owl and morn to th’ lark less welcome." — Cymbeline

"With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world, if a' could get her good-will."  — Much Ado About Nothing

"With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world, if a' could get her good-will." — Much Ado About Nothing

"They say the owl was a baker’s daughter."  — Hamlet

"They say the owl was a baker’s daughter." — Hamlet

More photos from the April 2017 barred owl photoshoot.

There was a barred owl in the Pinetum in July 2013. It was difficult to get a good shot. This photograph is more for identification.