A tiny saw-whet owl is now recovering at a wildlife refuge after it was plucked from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
The little bird was discovered nestled in the tree by a worker responsible for bringing the tree from upstate New York to Midtown Manhattan.
The 75-foot (22-metre) Spruce was cut down in Oneonta last week and driven 170 miles (270 kilometres) south to New York City.
In a Facebook post Tuesday, Ravensbeard Wildlife Center said the evergreen arrived with a bit of a “secret,” which is now safely in its care.
It turns out, one of the transport drivers found the owl in the tree and his wife called Ravensbeard in Saugerties for advice and arrange the transfer of the owl to their care.
“Once secured, I peaked in the box and saw this little face looking up at me,” Ellen Kalish, founder of Ravensbeard, wrote in her Facebook post about the unusually merry rescue.
The saw-whet owl is the smallest of the owl family in the northeast.
“Back at Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, we’ve given him fluids and are feeding him all the mice he will eat. It had been three days since he ate or drank anything,” Kalish explained.
So far, the owl is doing well.
“His eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through,” the center added. “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.”
A Secret in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Ravensbeard is excited to share a rare Holiday story with you. …Posted by Ravensbeard Wildlife Center on Tuesday, November 17, 2020
And don’t worry, this species find new mates each year and according to the sanctuary, is “resilient” at settling in a new home.
“This owl is a full grown adult and is very capable of finding new territory,” Kalish added. “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.”