A story truly fitting the Christmas cheer. A tiny little owl was found inside of a Christmas tree. Yup. Inside of the iconic Rockefeller Christmas tree, workers discovered the tiny owl "clinging for its life to the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce". After surviving a 200 mile journey from Oneonta to Manhattan, the owl was found as the crews that were about to erect the tree were unwrapping it.
The New York Post reports that strangely, though the bird is tiny and looks like a baby owlet, since owls are born in the spring, it was immediately understood that this owl is not actually a baby. She is a northern saw-whet, a bird that only grows to about 5 inches tall and 2 to 3 ounces in weight. "I thought it was such a heartwarming Christmas story, that there was this secret in the Christmas tree," said Ellen Kalish, the director and founder of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in New York.
Workers at the Rockefeller Center, after the New York Post reached out for a comment, said: "We inspect each branch of the tree individually before it's wrapped, but birds sometimes can find their way into it on the journey." For three whole days, the owl didn't have any food or water, but once in the hands of Kalish, she got all the mice she wanted.
Today, in an update to the story, we found out that the little birdy has been set free at last to its natural habitat to continue her migratory journey. And though her journey was harrowing and incredibly long, she's gotten herself a little Christmas miracle in not only being found and rescued but also in making a full recovery and getting to continue her life in the wild as she was meant to.
Check out pictures of the owl and her release below. And for another story of an incredibly feisty owl with singed wings getting rescued from a fire, click right here.