Pandemic Makes Room for New York Animals To Come out of Hiding

Aidan Tice poses for a picture in New York City. Photo provided by Aidan Tice

Aidan Tice poses for a picture in New York City. Photo provided by Aidan Tice

Abigail Tice, Editor

Snowy Owl spotted in Central Park tree. Photo credit: Steven M. Bellovin

It’s almost been a year since the beginning of lockdowns in the US that caused many large cities to seem like ghost towns. Though it was only a short amount of time before New York started to liven up again, the somewhat empty city allowed animals to come out of hiding and into the city.

Recently, a handful of coyotes have been spotted in Central Park which is pretty uncommon considering it’s a park in the middle of a highly populated city. Coyotes have been known to live in New York for about the last 30 years but only one is reportedly known to live in Central Park.

Another rare animal sighting in New York City is the Snowy owl–which has not been spotted in Central Park for 130 years. In early February, a bird watcher in Central Park reported a Snowy owl sighting. Before then, the last time this bird was spotted in the park was in the year 1890.

Back in January, my brother Aidan Tice ’18 was able to move back to New York City to finish his college semester. Uncertain of what he would find having heard that New York was “dead” after living in the city, he found that this was far from the truth.

He said, “The only part of the city that’s dead is all the tourist-y things. New York is still a busy city because of the people who reside there. New York isn’t just a tourist destination, people still live their everyday lives there.”

Later in my conversation with Aidan he said, “New York is resilient, it’s proven itself time and time again. Whether it be the 9/11 attacks of 2001 or Covid in 2020, the city always manages to pick itself up and dust itself off. New York just keeps moving forward; all of the change that this pandemic has brought has also created new opportunities. If all of this never happened, I never would have been able to experience life living a block away from Central Park.”