There is a Barn Owl roosting in a pine on the small hill with many pines immediately east of Bethesda Fountain in Central Park today, April 11.
This owl was first seen and reported just after sunrise on April 9 in nearby pines. Chased by Blue Jays, it quickly fled north and was not reported again that day.
Yesterday, on the evening of April 10, a birder crossing the park saw it fly out of the pines on Cherry Hill at 8:15.
The original finder, Mary Beth Kooper, found the Barn Owl again this morning at its current location, and, as she had done two days before, announced it to all by posting a tweet to Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark on Twitter).
The owl is roosting over 30 feet high, well-concealed by an old nest and dense pine foliage. Still, those viewing from near the trunk of the tree have at times been able to see the owl’s face.
Barn Owl was last known to be seen in Central Park for a day in January 2004. It is one of the most unexpected birds to show up here in the recent years, and very likely will be the best bird of 2018 in Central Park.