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From The Rockefeller Christmas Tree, The Tiniest Stowaway Is Rescued

After a 75-foot Norway spruce from Oneonta, New York, was chosen as the Rockefeller Christmas tree, a small stowaway nearly caught a journey to Manhattan.

A small brown and white owl lived in the tree, but no one spotted him until it was taken down. Fortunately, before the Rockefeller tree was delivered, a worker who works for the firm that carries and secures the tree saw the hitchhiker hidden up in the branches.


When a Ravensbeard Wildlife Center employee took up the owl, he found it wasn’t a baby at all, but an adult Saw-whet owl, the smallest owl in the Northeast. Being scarcely larger than a robin and resting among the trunks of evergreens, these owls are typically hard to notice.

The young owl was famished and dehydrated after three days without food or drink. But, thanks to the wildlife center’s care, he swiftly recovered.


“I got a call from someone who wanted to know if we take in owls for rehabilitation. In a Facebook post, Ravensbeard Wildlife Center said, “I answered, ‘Yes we do.'” “After a little pause, she answered, ‘OK, I’ll phone back when my husband gets home; he’s had the baby owl in a box snuggled in for the long journey.'”


“With everything he’s gone through, his eyes are brilliant, and [he] appears comparatively in excellent health,” Ravensbeard Wildlife Center said. “He’ll be free to go on his wild and beautiful voyage after he checks in with the vet and receives a clean bill of health.”

When the owl has healed entirely, he will be released on the grounds of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, where he will be able to pick from a variety of trees for his new home. Returning him to his original territory would be too upsetting, especially because Saw-whet owls are known for their ability to discover new territories.