Rockefeller, the tiny owl in the NYC Christmas tree, is back in the wild

In this photo provided by the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, Ravensbeard Wildlife Center Director and founder Ellen Kalish holds a Saw-whet owl at their facility in Saugerties, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. A worker helping to get the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City found the tiny owl among the tree's massive branches on Monday, Nov. 16. Now named Rockefeller, the owl was brought to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center for care. (Lindsay Possumato/Ravensbeard Wildlife Center via AP)

(CNN) — There may have been mixed feelings about the Rockefeller Christmas tree this year, but there was nothing of the sort for the tiny, adorable owl that was found in it.

Rocky — short for her nickname of “Rockefeller” — was released back into the wild after spending several days at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, where she received only the best mice and best treatment.

On Tuesday, the center announced that the avian veterinarians and owl experts it had been working with had cleared the owl for takeoff. She was released Tuesday at dusk, in a conifer forest in Upstate New York.

The center filmed and posted that release on Facebook, writing it was “a success.”

“She is a tough little bird and we’re happy to see her back in her natural habitat,” the center wrote. “We are sure that Rocky will feel your love and support through her journey south.”

The dozens of reactions that poured in were, understandably, emotional.

“That was so moving,” one Facebook user wrote. “Thank you for sharing and for your dedication to these wild souls.”

The Saw-whet owl traveled about 170 miles last week on the tree and was discovered during transport, the center said.


Pixel Image