All photos and text copyright © Phil Jeffrey, 2001-2007.
I don't have an issue with
personal use the images, but for all other uses please
This Boreal Owl spent part of the winter of 2004/2005 in the most unlikely of locations - near Tavern On The Green in Central Park. These photos were taken 12/20/2004.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, near Naples, FL is an exceptional place at any time. Back in April 2000 I was lucky enough to have adult and juvenile Barred Owls perch close to the boardwalk. The light was not exceptional, but I think the photo is not too bad.
From fall 2001 onwards in excess of 20 rehab Eastern Screech-Owls were released in Central Park by the NYC Parks Dept in an ill-advised attempt at re-introduction. Initially many of these birds were easy to find. I was watching one of the gray phase birds at ~4pm in October 2001 when it leapt out of it's roost hole and grabbed an immature Northern Parula from the lower canopy. Screech Owls don't normally hunt in daylight and do not normally predate small passerines, so this is slightly unusual. An extra bonus, the bird seemed uncertain what to do with it's new kill, so posed rather nicely for photos. This photo was one of the few taken with flash, since I prefer to use flash rather sparingly on owls, even if this was in daylight. Sadly Eastern Screech-Owls failed to establish a long-term population and the species is extirpated from Central Park.
Other bright ideas by the NYC Parks Dept include introduction of Bald Eagles in Inwood Park (undoubtedly destined for failure) and Barn Owls into Van Cortlandt Park.
One of the elusive red phase releases was found on Cherry Hill in late fall. This one was taken from a fair distance.
This is the most accessible of the group of 3-5 Long-eared Owls at a well-known roost in Central Park. Sadly, a few bird photographers have made a habit of camping out under this owl for an extended period of time. Stressing owls at roosts is likely to increase their mortality rate.