A barred owl that had become a sort of New York City celebrity after taking up residence in the city's famed Central Park has been killed. Barry, as she was affectionately known, was fatally struck by one of the privately maintained park's maintenance vehicles, the park Conservancy announced Friday, per CBS News. "Flying low, likely in search of a meal, the barred owl made contact with a Conservancy vehicle at approximately 2:30 a.m.," the organization tweeted. "Conservancy staff immediately reported the incident and Urban Park Rangers were contacted." Since first being spotted in October 2020, Barry had been a favorite of area birdwatchers, not just for the novelty of being more associated with wilder environs, but because of her propensity to be out and about during the day in spite of her nocturnal nature.
Robert DeCandido, an NYC birdwatcher known as Birding Bob, told the New York Times that rarity played a role in Barry's celebrity, as well: just one or two owls are found in Central Park each year. Not surprisingly, both Twitter and Instagram accounts were created on Barry's behalf in recent months. Speaking for all those who loved Barry, the Central Park Conservancy wrote Friday: “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 wildlife that call it home.” (Learn about another unlikely owl in New York City)