Was a Small Owl Found in the 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree?

Ruben Fields
November 19, 2020

The couple had thought the owl - now named Rockefeller - was a baby due to its petite size, but the wildlife center said it is an adult northern saw-whet owl, one of the smallest owl species in North America.

The bird, which was stuck in the tree's branches when it was furled up for transit, was taken to Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, a town in upstate NY, where a veterinarian tended to it.

Besides the Rockefeller tree appearing to be a little slimmer than usual this year, there was another new discovery: a little owl that was hiding in the branches!

The director of Ravensbeard said she got a call from someone who worked at the company that transports and secures the iconic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

Saw-whet owl found in Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

The 75-foot Norway spruce, donated by Al Dick of Daddy Al's General Store in Oneonta, N.Y., arrived in New York City on Saturday for the annual holiday tradition.

"We've never seen anything like this", says Ellen Kalish, the director of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center.

The owl was then taken to the wildlife center to be checked out.

"It had been three days since he ate or drank anything", the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center wrote. It was taken to a vet on Wednesday and got a clean bill of health. The tree will be decorated over the coming weeks, with added branches and more than 5 miles of lights.

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