Saturday, February 24, 2024

Flaco the Owl, 2010-2024

Flaco ("skinny" in Spanish, though he appeared anything but), a Eurasian eagle owl, was hatched in a sanctuary in North Carolina in March of 2010. Two months later he was taken to New York's Central Park Zoo, where he lived alone in an enclosure until February 2, 2023 when a vandal broke the screen and allowed him to escape. In the photo (Wikimedia Commons) he's peering through the window of poet, playwright, and lyricist Nan Knighton

During his year of freedom, Flaco was often seen in and around Central Park, though he occasionally ventured to other parts of the city. Not surprisingly, he became a local celebrity and favorite photographic subject. To the dismay of his many admirers, though to the relief of the local rat and pigeon populations (but they still have to contend with red-tailed hawks), yesterday Flaco was found dead on an Upper West Side sidewalk, apparently the victim of a collision with a building.

Adios, Flaco. Gracias for the joy you gave to so many during your flights around the city.