The stowaway owl, nicknamed Rockefeller, will be released into the wild once he recovers from the trauma of losing his home.
Every year, the Rockefeller Christmas tree is unveiled in New York City. This year, while the tree itself was underwhelming, a surprise stowaway made the reveal more worthwhile. Hidden within the Christmas tree was an adorable little Saw-whet owl. He was discovered while the tree was being transported. Of course, losing his home would have been a devastating experience for the bird. Luckily, the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center has been nursing him back to health. The owl has since been named Rockefeller (because, why not?) and will soon be released to fly about the grounds of Ravensbeard, CNN reports.
The Rockefeller Christmas tree, just like the rest of us, really been through things in 2020 pic.twitter.com/6xC8C34iMk— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) November 16, 2020
Rockefeller hitched a ride with the Christmas tree-to-be when it was cut down in Oneonta, New York, earlier this week. He was spotted as the tree was being transferred from Oneonta to New York City. The wife of an employee for the firm that transports the tree to Manhattan called up the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in order to report a "baby owl" in desperate need of help. Rockefeller, however, is not a baby at all. The center explained in a Facebook post, "All baby owls are born in the spring so the idea that there was a baby owl in November didn’t make sense." Saw-whet owls are actually the smallest species of owl in the region. According to Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology, they grow only to about the size of a soda can.
The Ravensbeard Wildlife Center came to his rescue. The caretakers at the center understood just how traumatic losing his home while he was in it would have been for little Rockefeller, so the team has been feeding him tons of mice and letting him catch up on some much-needed rest and relaxation while he is at the center. "We’ve given him fluids and are feeding him all the mice he will eat," they shared. "It had been three days since he ate or drank anything. So far so good, his eyes are bright and [he] seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through."
They added that Rockefeller will soon be released into the wildlife center's grounds "once he checks in with the vet and gets a clean bill of health." As Saw-whet owls are migratory birds, he does not necessarily need to be taken "home" to Oneonta. "This owl is a full grown adult and is very capable of finding new territory," the center affirmed. "We believe it would be even more traumatic to transport him yet again when he can be safely released here on the grounds of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center where there are acres of trees to choose from." Nonetheless, this species is in decline so if you are interested in helping them out, you can construct an owl box to help give these precious creatures a safe home. To learn how to do so, you can click here. Meanwhile, Rockefeller is living his best life at Ravensbeard.