Great Horned Owl Sticks Around In Central Park

I finally go up to Central Park and see the great horned owl (bubo virginianus) who’s been visiting the ramble this week. I showed up about an hour before dusk, when the owl flies out to hunt. He (or she) spent a lot of the time puffing up, stretching, then tucking his head back to rest. He reminded me of a person trying to ignore an alarm clock. Though he was sharp enough to glare at movement on the ground and a mobbing blue jay.

It’s a huge bird, but it could still be tough to find. I’d found out he was there from my friend Donegal Brown, who takes and gets great animal pictures from readers around the country at Pale Male Irregulars. But, as is often the case in Central Park, you don’t have to be a keen enough spotter to find the bird. You only have to be observant enough to find a bunch of people with giant lenses looking up. By darkness I think 20-25 people had come to see the bird. 

I was especially lucky. The guy with the pro camera let me look through his lens, then even asked for my memory card and shot some wonderful close-ups. Who was this photographer who was impossibly generous? Turns out it was Lincoln Karim, who runs Palemale.com, where you will find dramatic pictures of the owl’s open mouth and clenched foot. Lincoln is a well-known advocate for wildlife in the park. Among

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Dumpster Owl Serves as Greeter at Carolina Raptor Center

Carolina Raptor Center, Just N. of Charlotte, NCShelby greets you as you enter the Raptor Center and she’s annoyed with you (if you’re a dog, for example) she is likely to puff up like she here. Shelby is a great ambassador to the world of injured big birds of prey. Her story is sad, but not that uncommon. She was caught in a leg trap, beaten, then discarded in a dumpster. Someone found her and brought her to the Carolina Raptor Center, which rehabilitates sick and injured birds. Shelby’s eyes were too damaged for her to hunt in the wild, so she has a permanent home here.The center attracts a wide range of visiors–families, scouts, bikers–and most read Shelby’s story then ask “Why would anyone throw an owl in a dumpster?”Some birds are nursed to health behind the scenes. About 27% of birds who survive won’t be able to make it in the wild. So, 100 live here, including great horned owls, bald eagles, barred owls, screech owls and a part-albino red-tailed hawk.It takes about 2 hours to see everyone. On weekends there are special shows.

Where to See Animals Down South

To see more animals go to animaltourism.com