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10 heartwarming tweets about Barry the Barred Owl

Barry the Barred Owl
Barry the Barred Owl in Central Park. Photo by David Barrett (@birdcentralpark)

Last Friday, August 6, we awoke to the tragic news that the Barred Owl that spent the last 10 months in New York’s Central Park had died after being struck by a maintenance vehicle during the night.

The bird, affectionately known as Barry, had developed a devoted following.

“Barry the Barred Owl alighted in Central Park last October, and startlingly, remained here through the winter and spring and summer,” author Michiko Kakutani wrote this week in a New York Times tribute. “Her arrival during the pandemic brought joy to many New Yorkers who had been hunkered down in their apartments, worried about Covid and their jobs and a crucial presidential election. She got people away from their Zoom meetings and TV screens, and out into the light and air of the park. She transformed folks who couldn’t tell a finch from a sparrow into ardent birders, spurred people who hadn’t picked up a camera since the days of dark rooms to take up digital photography, and turned children and grown-ups alike into students of all things owl, devouring books and videos about owl behavior, owl history and owl legends.

“She brought strangers together in a community based on a shared love for this magical creature who’d made Central Park her unlikely home.”

“The loss of this Barred Owl is more than the death of a bird,” wrote New York birders Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido. “It was the loss of the possibility that we would have nesting Barred Owls in Central Park in the near future. It is a step back from the evolving idea that wild things can live and thrive in urban areas.” (Allen and DeCandido also called on the Central Park Conservancy to partner with a raptor rehab center to release a breeding pair or two of the owls in the park.)

Barry the Barred Owl was the subject of countless social-media posts in life — and in death. Below are just a few tweets about Barry and the vigil that was held in Central Park on Monday in her honor.

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