It may be news to its bankers, but Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina and a major center of the American financial industry, is actually an old growth forest.
At least thats the way the barred owls see it.
Charlotte is famous for having two kinds of green. It is home to two of the nations largest banks and its downtown residential neighborhoods and near-suburbs are also known for their lush yards and green streets, lined with large trees. Less well-known is the fact that the city is almost as well populated with large owls especially barred owls as it is with bankers. Harry Potter would feel very much at home.
In fact, the barred owl population in Charlotte is so strong that the city was chosen to be the site for the most extensive barred owl research study that has ever been attempted, with fieldwork going on in the manicured front lawns and gardened back yards of urban and suburban neighborhoods.
Urban wildlife numbers have been increasing in recent decades, notably in populations of squirrels, Canada geese, raccoons and deer, but the appearance of significant urban populations of barred owls, the third largest owl species in the US, is a surprise to a number of biologists.