Snowy Owl in New York's Central Park gives visitors once in a lifetime sight

NEW YORK -- People out enjoying New York's Central Park on Wednesday were graced with a once in a lifetime sight, a Snowy Owl.

The bird was spotted on a baseball field and pictures of the rare visitor flooded social media soon after its arrival.

Experts say it's the first time this breed has been spotted in the park since 1890 and the first time with actual photographic proof.

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The Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralParkon Twitter) told our sister station WABC:

"They breed in the Arctic Tundra and travel south in November. They do so for reasons that are not entirely understood, but likely move to find more abundant prey. Some years bring few owls, some many. The move is called an "irruption." In the last decade Snowy Owls have been regular, annual visitors to the area, most commonly Long Island's south shore. The ocean expanse halts their flights. And the owls like to hunt on beaches, so it works out. Jones Beach and Breezy Point are two common ones.

They cannot be considered common in New York State, but there are places that tend to get an owl or two every year in winter. Airport runways are another favorite, all over the state."

It is extremely unlikely that we will ever see another Snowy Owl in our lifetimes in Central Park. Remember, the last one was over 100 years ago. Though more people observe birds now. But *this* particular Snowy Owl could be back tomorrow. I will be looking for it. As will many others."
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