Tiny owl found in New York Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree

A tiny owl found in the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree has been rescued after stowing away for days.

The saw-whet owl was found on the branches of the tree during the 170 mile trip from Oneonta, New York, to New York City.

Among the 75ft spruce’s spines was the diminutive owl, who has since been named Rockefeller.

He’s now being checked over by vets, and when he’s got a clean bill of health he’ll be released back into the wild.

‘It’s just a story out of a movie. It’s amazing he didn’t get crushed,’ said Ravensbeard Wildlife Centre director Ellen Kalish, who is caring for the owl.

At the moment, he appears to be just fine, with Ellen adding: ‘So far, he’s pensive and cautious. Very alert, bright-eyed. And the cuteness factor is just off the charts.’

Rockefeller may be small, but he is an adult saw-whet owl. The breed typically get no larger than 22cm, as one of the smallest species in North America.

They live in conifers and dense thickets to hide from predators, and only weigh around 80g all in.

‘They’re a very interesting species,’ Ellen said, due to their migratory habits, which don’t tend to show any sort of pattern.

Saw-whet owls also aren’t often seen by most people, as they’re considered ‘very’ nocturnal.

Rockefeller, whose story Ellen said ‘needed to be shared’ looks to be in a fit condition, and should be able to go on as normal upon his release back into the wild.

Given the amount of mocking this year’s Rockefeller Centre tree has got (with many on social media calling it ‘sad’, ‘underwhelming’, and ‘bare’) it’s some much-needed good PR.

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