Owl found in New York’s Rockefeller Christmas tree

Posted by Anita Froneman on 19 November 2020

A man who worked on setting up the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree this year was surprised to find a small male northern saw-whet owl among the branches.

The animal travelled 257km from Oneonta to Manhattan in New York and was without food or water for the three-day trip.

When the owl did not fly away on its own, the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center was contacted, and the organisation came to the owl’s rescue. The man first believed the animal may be an owlet because of its small size.

‘Once secured, I peaked in the box and saw this little face looking up at me. He/she was a little Saw-whet owl, the smallest owls we have in the northeast. All baby owls are born in the spring so the idea that there was a baby owl in November didn’t make sense,’ Ellen Kalish, the director of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center said on Facebook. 



‘Back at Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, we’ve given him fluids and are feeding him all the mice he will eat. It had been three days since he ate or drank anything. So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through.

‘Once he checks in with the vet and gets a clean bill of health, he’ll be released to continue on his wild and wonderful journey. Our hearts go out to all those “behind the scenes” workers. Great job and thanks for saving “Rockefeller”!’

Pictures: Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

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