Death of beloved New York City owl, Flaco, in apparent building collision devastates legions of fan

Tributes flowed in Saturday for Flaco, the famous Eurasian eagle-owl who became a feel-good New York tale after escaping its Central Park Zoo enclosure and flying free around Manhattan.

Flaco was discovered dead on a New York City sidewalk Friday night, having presumably flown into a building.

 The birders who documented the owl's daily activities, as well as the millions of enthusiasts who avidly followed along, were heartbroken by the death.

"Everybody feels the same, they're devastated," said Nicole Blair, a New York City artist who spent a lot of time 

on the X platform posting photographs and memes of the celebrity owl with checkerboard black and brown feathers and wide sunset-colored eyes.

The Wild Bird Fund, a bird rehabilitation institution, declared Flaco dead shortly after the crash. A necropsy was scheduled for Saturday.

The generally vociferous owl, whose hooting became a nightly song on the Upper West Side

became quieter in the days leading up to his death, according to David Barrett, who manages the Manhattan Bird Alert account on X and recorded reports of the owl's movements.

He had not gone anywhere. He was just being quiet in his old area, which, I believe, shows he was not feeling well and was not up to hooting," Barrett explained.

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