A tiny owl that was found after the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was cut down in upstate New York, then trucked to New York City, is recovering at a wildlife rehabilitation facility.
In a Facebook post Tuesday, the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center said the bird was rescued after the 75-foot Norway spruce was cut down Thursday in Oneonta, roughly 80 miles southwest of Albany and around 170 miles north of its final stop in New York City.
Rocky's release was a success! She's a tough little bird and we're happy to see her back in the wild. She will feel your love & support through her journey south.#RockefellerOwl Please help us continue our mission to help birds like Rocky for years to come https://t.co/Wg4S9kJZbb pic.twitter.com/AJZ5xPrVQt
— Ravensbeard Wildlife Center (@Ravensbeardorg) November 25, 2020
A worker who helped transport and secure the tree discovered the owl and his wife called the center, the post said.
“He’s got the baby owl in a box tucked in for the long ride,” the woman said, according to the post.
In fact, the owl wasn’t a baby — it was an adult male Saw-whet, the smallest variety of owl in the Northeast, the center said. He hadn’t eaten or drank in days, but began to recover after getting fluids and food.
The center said a return trip to Oneonta would likely be too traumatic to the bird, so it plans to release it on facility grounds in the upstate town of Saugerties.
In honor of where the tiny owl was found, the center has taken to calling him “Rockefeller.”