Close-up portrait of Flaco the owl while still in captivity

RIP Flaco, the Eurasian eagle owl who became a pandemic-era totem of NYC resilience and hustle.

Whether you regard his year in the urban wild as the result of an act of vandalism or emancipation, his untimely demise is lamentable and sets back conservation efforts—however imperfect—of a species under threat. Regardless the cause, we all would have preferred a different ending.

I shot this image of him way back in 2017 during a visit to the Central Park Zoo, while I was renting what a photographer friend would call a “crazy sports guy lens.”

  • Fujifilm X-T1
  • XF 100–400mm ƒ/4.5–5.6 R LM OIS