Long-eared Owl, Cherry Hill, Central Park

I have a bit of a history with the Long-eared Owl. It was the first species of owl I ever observed in Manhattan, when a trio came to the pines atop Cherry Hill in February 2011. It was a bird I missed in my big year when a single such owl appeared in Strawberry Fields on 17 October 2012 and no one reported it in time for me to see it. This owl chose to linger for only a single day (as far as we know), which is a little unusual. Records on eBird indicate that when a Long-eared Owl comes to Central Park, it usually stays for at least a few days at the location where it was seen, though owls that arrive alone tend to be the exception.

Another lone Long-eared Owl was seen by many this year, on 18 December 2013,  in the pines southeast of Turtle Pond and just south of the 79th Street underpass. This one was reported quickly, on Facebook, but I was not around to see it. It was not found again the next day.

Yesterday, 27 December 2013, three Long-eared Owls were found in the pines of Cherry Hill. Today only one was visible, and it could be seen only partially and with difficulty.

This was species number 199 for me on the year in Manhattan.

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