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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

‘Holiday Hoot!’: How an owl found on Rockefeller Center tree became an internet sensation

Although it looks tiny, the owl is not a baby but Saw-whet owls one of the smallest owl species in North America. As the owl's popularity grew, it also got it's own Twitter handle.

By: AP | New York | Updated: November 20, 2020 3:52:59 pm
Rockefeller Christmas tree, Rockefeller Christmas tree owl, rockefeller owl, Saw-whet owls, Rockefeller centre tree owl, chritsmas owl, viral newsRockefeller, a northern saw-whet owl, is pictured after being found and rescued in a Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, in New York. (Source: Reuters)

It wasn’t quite a partridge in a pear tree, but a worker helping set up the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree found a holiday surprise — a tiny owl among the massive branches.

The little bird, now named what else but Rockefeller, was discovered on Monday, dehydrated and hungry, but otherwise unharmed, said Ellen Kalish, director and founder of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York, where the bird was taken.

Kalish said the bird is an adult male Saw-whet owl, one of the tiniest owls. It was taken to a veterinarian on Wednesday and got a clean bill of health.

“He’s had a buffet of all-you-can-eat mice, so he’s ready to go,” she said.

She said the plan was to release the owl back to the wild this weekend.

The photos of the owl quickly went viral, with many calling it a Christmas miracle. As popularity grew, it also got it’s own Twitter handle.

The tree, a 75-foot (23-meter) Norway spruce, had been brought to Manhattan on Saturday from Oneonta, New York, in the central part of the state. The tree is put in place and then decorated over some weeks before being lit for the public in early December.

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