NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — A small owl was found resting inside the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center. The 75-foot tall tree came from Oneonta, New York and was transported to Manhattan on Saturday.
The owl, dubbed “Rockefeller,” is a saw-whet owl, among the smallest species in the northeast. The bird has been taken in by a Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, Ulster County. They said they found out about the bird on Monday morning, according to NewsNation affiliate WTEN.
The plan is to return Rockefeller to the wild. Though he came from Oneonta, the wildlife experts say that transporting him there again could likely be traumatic. As an adult owl from a species that finds a new mate and new territory every year, Rockefeller will have the same shot at survival in Ulster as he would in Otsego.
The stowaway was identified and by Ravensbeard Wildlife Center:
News of the petite stowaway brought out the punsters and sparked a flood of social media comments.
“Owl news, owl the time,” wrote one woman who was clearly enjoying the break in the news cycle.
“Don’t talk to me unless it’s about the tiny owl in the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree,” another tweeted.
Others had a different take, however, with one user tweeting, “So, the folks at Rockefeller Center stole an owl’s tree, then evicted him.”
The iconic Rockefeller tree is 45-feet in diameter and weighs 11 tons.
NewsNation affiliate WTEN contributed to this report.