This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree had a tiny surprise hiding in there. A tiny owl, first believed to be a baby, was found tucked inside the iconic Christmas tree by workers who transported the tree. They discovered the adorable creature clinging to the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce this weekend. Soon enough, Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York received a call from a stranger asking whether they accept owls for rehab.

On Tuesday, the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center took to Facebook to share a “rare holiday story” about the secret hiding inside this year’s Rockefeller Christmas Tree.

More info: Instagram

This magnificent creature was found hiding inside this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Image credits: rockefellercenter

The owl was discovered as work crews were unwrapping this year’s tree. Ellen Kalish, the director and founder of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, suspects that the bird might have been stunned or pinned when the tree was getting wrapped up.

A worker of the company that transported the Christmas tree found the owl. Soon enough, his wife called the rescue center, informing them that her husband had a little owl “tucked in for the long ride.” The people who rescued the bird lived about an hour away from the animal facility, so its director Ellen met them halfway to pick up the owl.

Apparently, the poor owl went 3 days without any food or water

Image credits: ravensbeardwildlifecenter

The rescuers of the magnificent bird thought that this was a baby owl, but Ellen Kalish was skeptical since she knew that owls are born in spring. Ellen shared on Facebook that when she saw “this little face” looking up at her, she knew it was a “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,” the Facebook post of the animal welfare center director read.

Before he was taken to Ravensbeard Wildlife Center and named Rockefeller

Image credits: ravensbeardwildlifecenter

While traveling, the poor owl had gone an estimated three days with no food or water. Luckily, after Ravensbeard Wildlife Center took him in, he was given fluids and was fed “all the mice he will eat.”

Luckily, the adorable fella was nursed back to health and will soon be released into the wild

Image credits: ravensbeardwildlifecenter

“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,” the post on Ravensbeard Wildlife Center’s Facebook read.

Just yesterday, the Instagram account for the Rockefeller Center shared some good news: “While he’s a little bummed his big city vacation is over, we’re happy to report Rockefeller the Owl has been given a clean bill of health thanks to the efforts of @ravensbeardwildlifecenter and our staff!” ⁣


This is the tree where the saw-whet owl, the smallest owl in the northeast, was found

Image credits: rockefellercenter

As the story about the owl being found began circulating online, some people expressed their concerns about Rockefeller being released. To clear any misconceptions, the animal welfare center shared on Facebook:

“We understand everyone’s concern and there have been even more comments regarding this, but this owl is a migratory bird, meaning it’s traveling around the country and on its own for most of the year. He finds a new mate every year. His ‘wife’ doesn’t even stick around long enough to see their baby fully grown before she’s off with a different owl making more owl babies. Owls and a lot of other wildlife have a different definition of family than we humans do. So we don’t need to feel bad about him not going back to Oneonta where he was just passing through anyway. That was not his home. Just like Saugerties will not be his home—because he will keep moving. We believe he is the only species of owl that is not monogamous so to think he would have a mate is understandable, but simply not the case for this particular owl. I hope this helps clear things up and make everyone rest easy in knowing that there is not a family of owls waiting for this guy to come back. He is a traveler.”


Here’s what people online had to say

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