Couple recalls Flaco the owl paying visit to their NYC apartment

Kemberly Richardson Image
Monday, November 20, 2023
Couple recalls Flaco the owl paying visit to their NYC apartment
Kemberly Richardson has the story.

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Nan Knighton did not know it at the time but the majestic creature sitting on the windowsill of her apartment staring right at her was bird royalty.

"When I'd be there, he'd swivel his neck around like, 'oh, you're there now' - he was the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen," Knighton said.

Knighton's husband, John Breglio was also there when Flaco, the Eurasian eagle-owl everyone has come to adore simply showed up at the couple's building on the Upper East Side.

"His eyes were laser-focused on us, which I think was protection, what are they going to do?" Breglio said.

Flaco first catapulted into the headlines in February, when vandals opened his enclosure in the Central Park Zoo.

Initially, the goal was to capture him and bring him back. He has been in captivity since 2012 and now out and about, many worry he will get hit by a car or eat a rat, laced with poison.

However, Flaco was not having it - he has been spotted back in the park, even on the Lower East Side - and seems to be thriving, which was the case on Tuesday when he dropped in on Knighton and Breglio.

Eventually, the couple did find out just how special the owl is, took their eyes off him for a split second - and then he was gone.

"It brings people together, and who does it, but an animal - an owl - as opposed to a politician or other people," Breglio adds.

ALSO READ | Thousands of NYCHA apartments sit empty as wait continues for potential tenants

7 On Your Side Investigative reporter Dan Krauth found that there are big delays when it comes to the city turning around apartments to new tenants.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More Manhattan news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.