What is the value of having an owl in Central Park? In dollars--none. Whether this owi is here or not, to most people, means nothing really. To some people this owl has no value. For people like the Parks Department and the CP Conservancy and the NYS DEC this owl has no value and its presence in Central Park is meaningless. Of course if you spoke to any of them they will go head over heels telling you how much they love owls and how happy they are that it is here. But that's talk and talk is cheap. To the Urban Park Rangers it's just a novelty--something to mention when they take a group around. But except for a slim few like Rob Mastrianni the presence of the owl has no meaningful value. I guess on the question of value it all depends on our own personal values.
There are tree crews working all through the park. One would think that the Parks Department and the Central Park Conservancy would advise the tree crews to avoid sensitive areas when carrying out their work. The presence of these Barred owls is well known for several weeks now, and their customary roosts are very predictable.
On Wednesday evening I found this contractor operating a chain saw within a few yards from the roosting owl.
I informed the DEC hoping that they will share my concern and help me to communicate to the Parks Department that they should not disturb the roosting raptor.
The DEC returned my call telling me that if the owl is disturbed it'll just go to another tree.