Owl found in Rockefeller Center Christmas tree released into the wild


SAUGERTIES, N.Y. (NewsNation Now) — An owl that was found in New York City’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been released back into the wild.

About a week ago, a worker discovered a small owl resting in the 75-foot tree that traveled more than 150 miles from upstate New York to Manhattan for the Rockefeller Center‘s holiday celebrations.

The saw-whet owl, quickly dubbed “Rockefeller,” was taken to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties. The wildlife group helped rehabilitate Rockefeller, who was hungry and dehydrated, before a return to the wild.

Just before sunset on Tuesday, Rockefeller was released in a wooded area on the edge of the Catskills, so the bird could find safe cover by nightfall, NewsNation affiliate WTEN reported.

The owl spent some time with the handler before flying off. The wildlife group expects Rockefeller will journey south.

The group also made one last discovery before Rockefeller took flight. The owl, which was originally thought to be male, was determined to be a girl, the group said.

Overall, the group said “Rocky’s release was a success.”

“She’s a tough little bird and we’re happy to see her back in her natural habitat,” the wildlife center said.

Watch Rockefeller’s release on the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center’s Facebook page.

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