News and Commentary

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Owl Released Into Wild After Rehab Stint
Northern Saw whet Owl
mlorenzphotography via Getty Images

The tiny owl who made headlines last week after she was found in Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree was released back into the wild Tuesday after a brief stint in animal rehab.

“Rocky’s release was a success!” tweeted Ravensbeard Wildlife Center on Tuesday, which is a bird rehab in Saugerties, New York. “She’s a tough little bird and we’re happy to see her back in the wild. She will feel your love & support through her journey south.”


The small Northern saw-whet owl, which was named “Rockefeller” after the plaza in which her former home is located, quickly became an internet sensation when she was found in the 75-foot Norway spruce that had been cut down and hauled to Midtown Manhattan from Oneonta, New York.

As The Daily Wire reported:

The Northern saw-whet owl, which often nests in tall conifers, averages only about 6.7-8.7 inches long and weighs on average approximately 2.8 ounces, making them easy prey for larger birds.

After Rockefeller had been rescued, the owl was taken to Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, which is more than 100 miles north of New York City in Saugerties, New York.

In a Tuesday Facebook post, the wildlife center wrote:

A Secret in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Ravensbeard is excited to share a rare Holiday story with you.

Yesterday morning, I received a phone call from someone who asked if we take in owls for rehabilitation. I replied, “yes we do,” 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.”

I asked where her husband was when he found the owl. She said he works for the company that transports and secures the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

She lived about an hour south so we met in the middle to do the transfer. Once secured, I peaked [sic] in the box and saw this little face looking up at me. He/she was a little Saw-whet owl, the smallest owls we have in the northeast. All baby owls are born in the spring so the idea that there was a baby owl in November didn’t make sense.

Back at Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, we’ve given him fluids and are feeding him all the mice he will eat. It had been three days since he ate or drank anything. So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through. 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.

Our hearts go out to all those “behind the scenes” workers. Great job and thanks for saving “Rockefeller”!

Rockefeller achieved such fame that the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame created a bobblehead of her, proceeds from which will go to benefit the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center.

Related: Tiny Owl Found In Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.