NYC Icon Dead After ‘Contact’ with City Maintenance Vehicle


Kipp Jones August 7, 2021 at 12:29pm

A well-known owl that called New York City’s Central Park home was killed on Friday after it “made contact” with a city vehicle, the park announced.

Barry the barred owl had been a fixture of Central Park since October and had become something of a celebrity among tourists and locals alike, according to CBS News.

The official Central Park Twitter account informed his fans that he had been killed in the early morning hours on Friday.

It’s with a heavy heart we share that a barred owl, a beloved Central Park resident, passed away early this morning.

— Central Park (@CentralParkNYC) August 6, 2021

“It’s with a heavy heart we share that a barred owl, a beloved Central Park resident, passed away early this morning,” the park said in a statement.

The statement said the bird was flying low and likely on the hunt when he collided with one of the park’s maintenance vehicles.

“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 the wildlife that call it home,” the statement concluded.

Barry’s death has prompted some of his fans to leave chalk tributes on the sidewalk underneath the tree where he lived.

Some tributes to the BARRED OWL already chalked on the path underneath her hemlock in the Central Park Ramble.

— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) August 7, 2021

People who had grown fond of the owl shared some photos of him taken in the past few weeks and months.

This is the last picture I took 2 days ago of this beautiful creature. We’ll miss you lovable Barry. #birdcpp

— Sandra Critelli (@alexcritelli7) August 6, 2021

My favorite photo of Barry the barred owl. She spent almost a year in Central Park, generating interest in wildlife for hundreds of park goers during a difficult time in the world. Sadly, she was killed overnight when struck by a park vehicle. RIP.

— Ben Stadler (@TheBenStadler) August 6, 2021

I often watched the #CentralPark barred #owl fly out as a nightly ritual after work. Never got old. Last night, I could only visit her in my photos & memories. RIP Barry, thank you so much for your time with us! ❤️ #birdcpp #BirdTwitter #barredowl #bird #birding #nature #wildlife

— David Lei (@davidlei) August 7, 2021

One video posted last month showed Barry enjoying a bath in the park.

Heat got you down? Just take a cool dip like #barry the #barredowl and don’t forget to shake your tail feathers on the way out. @BarryBarredOwl #nyc #centralpark #birdcpp

— r2junot (@r2junot) July 14, 2021

Friday’s incident is not the first time a beloved New York animal has been killed following an interaction with a city employee.

In 2014, Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped the iconic groundhog Staten Island Chuck during a Groundhog Day event.

Chuck later died of “internal injuries,” the Daily News reported.

Johnathan “Kipp” Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor and a producer in radio, television and digital media. He is a proud husband and father.

Johnathan “Kipp” Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.

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