Flaco is Honored With an Owl on a Memorial in New York City

Many fans of Flaco the Eurasian eagle-owl gathered in New York City on Sunday to bid farewell to the beloved celebrity bird who brought inspiration and joy to many by flying around Manhattan after being released from his zoo enclosure.

An event was organized in the afternoon at Central Park near Flaco’s favorite oak tree, featuring speeches, songs, and poems. Flaco was discovered deceased on February 23 in the Upper West Side, seemingly struck by a building. Test zoologists determined that he had traumatic impact injuries. Additional testing will be conducted to investigate if he was also ill.

The bird’s passing was a heartbreaking moment for the birdwatchers who tracked its activities and the countless fans who shared images and videos of the magnificent owl. With a wingspan of almost six feet, it perches on tree branches, fence posts, fire escapes, and water towers, hooting during certain hours.

“In the midst of all the difficult situations globally, this bird has truly emerged as a beacon of hope, uniting many of us,” shared Breanne Delgado during the event. David Lei, a passionate birdwatcher in the area, mentioned that it was difficult to determine Flaco’s loss. The owl met the same fate as numerous other birds in Manhattan by colliding with the dangerous windows of tall buildings.

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“Flaco was truly remarkable and left behind an impressive legacy,” Lei remarked. “I express gratitude to him daily for the joy, awe, and inspiration he brings us on his journey.” Attendees at the event are pushing for new legislation to reduce bird collisions with buildings and to ban the use of rat poison that can harm large birds. Plans are being made to install a statue of Flaco in Central Park.

Flaco was set free from his enclosure at the Central Park Zoo over a year ago by a vandal who broke through a low fence and made a hole in a steel mesh cage. The owl came to the zoo 13 years ago as a new arrival.

Initially, zoo officials and his fans were worried about his survival, but he quickly showed his skill at catching rats and other prey. The zoo stopped trying to catch him again following unsuccessful efforts. Condolences flooded in from across the globe following his passing. The authorities are still working to apprehend the individual who freed him from jail.

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