4 min read

Tiniest Stowaway Rescued From Rockefeller Christmas Tree

A Christmas miracle 🎄

A little stowaway nearly hitched a ride to Manhattan after a 75-foot Norway spruce from Oneonta, New York, was chosen as the Rockefeller Christmas tree.

The tree was home to a tiny brown and white owl, but nobody noticed him until it was cut down. Luckily, a man who works for the company that transports and secures the Rockefeller tree spotted the hitchhiker tucked away in the branches before the tree was delivered.

Tiny owl saved from Rockefeller Christmas tree
Facebook/Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

“I received a phone call from someone who asked if we take in owls for rehabilitation. I replied, ‘Yes we do,’” Ravensbeard Wildlife Center wrote in a Facebook post. “There was silence for a moment and she said, ‘OK, I'll call back when my husband comes home, he’s got the baby owl in a box tucked in for the long ride.’”

Saw-whet Owl rescued from Christmas tree
Facebook/Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

A representative from the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center picked up the owl and realized that the bird was not a baby at all, but an adult Saw-whet owl — the smallest owl in the Northeast. Being no bigger than a robin and roosting near the trunks of evergreens, these owls are often hard to spot. 

After three days without food or water, the little owl was hungry and dehydrated. But under the care of the wildlife center, he bounced back quickly.

Tiny owl found in Christmas tree
Facebook/Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

“His eyes are bright and [he] seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through,” Ravensbeard Wildlife Center stated. “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.”

When the owl is completely recovered he'll be released on the grounds of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, where he will have plenty of trees to choose his new home from. Transporting him back to his original area would be too traumatic, especially when Saw-whet owls are very capable of finding new territories.

The little owl, now known as Rockefeller, can live out the rest of his days in the wild thanks to a kind stranger with a big heart. "Our hearts go out to all those 'behind the scenes' workers," Ravensbeard Wildlife Center wrote. "Great job and thanks for saving 'Rockefeller!'"

To help with Rockefeller's medical care, you can make a donation to Ravensbeard Wildlife Center.