Small Owl Found Inside Rockefeller Christmas Tree After Traveling 170 Miles

You can come across a miracle in the most unexpected place. Such was the case when a worker found a tiny owl as he was unloading the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Nestled in the branches of the 75-foot Norway spruce, the bird endured a 170-mile ride from Oneonta to New York City without food or water. So, upon discovering the little fella, the worker immediately asked his wife to contact a wildlife center for assistance.

The bird was then turned over to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center for temporary refuge. Measuring only 20 centimetres long, it’s easy to mistake the little fowl for an owlet. However, according to the center, “All baby owls are born in the spring.” So, it was unlikely to find one in November.

man holding an owl rescued from rockefeller christmas tree
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center


Meet Rocky, the little owl rescued from the Rockefeller Christmas tree

owl rescued from rockefeller christmas tree
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center


saw-whet owl rescued from christmas tree
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

Well, as it turns out, the bird is an adult saw-whet. It’s the smallest species of the nocturnal bird in the northeast United States, so this explains the bird’s incredibly petite size. The staff also later determined that the bird was female. They decided to name her Rockefeller, or Rocky for short, after the tree where she was rescued.

saw-whet nocturnal bird rescued from christmas tree
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center


owl wrapped in orange scarf
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

During Rocky’s stay in the center, the staff fed her mice and gave her plenty of fluids to help her recover. After a little over a week, she was “cleared for takeoff.” On November 24th, the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center wrote on its Facebook page:

“Rocky will continue on her migratory journey south today at dusk. The release will happen at sunset so that she can find safe cover by nightfall. We have found just the right quiet cluster of conifers to give her the safety she needs.”

rescued nocturnal bird taken in by ravensbeard wildlife center
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center


rescued nocturnal bird named rockefeller
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

Later that day, the staff documented Rocky’s release and uploaded the footage on the center’s page.

“Rocky’s release was a success! She is a tough little bird and we’re happy to see her back in her natural habitat. We are sure that Rocky will feel your love and support through her journey south.”

This was the 75-foot Norway spruce where Rocky was found before it was cut down



It was then delivered to the Rockefeller Center for installation and decoration



Rocky is officially back in her natural habitat after her successful release

You may visit Ravensbeard Wildlife Center’s website to find out more about their mission of saving orphaned and injured animals. And if you’re interested in supporting their cause, you may also donate to their GoFundMe page.

Source: Ravensbeard Wildlife Center Website | Facebook | Instagram