Tiny Owl Rescued From Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree After Epic 170-Mile Journey to New York City

A holiday story for the ages.

A tiny owl is recovering nicely after his perch in upstate New York made a surprise 170-mile trip to New York City.

The owl, of course, had no way of knowing that he had taken up residence in the 75-foot Norway spruce destined for Christmas greatness in Rockefeller Center. So, he held fast to the tree for what turned out to be an epic holiday journey.

Fortunately, after three days on the road without food or water, the scared little stowaway was discovered by one of the workers who helped transport and secure the tree. His wife got in touch with Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties and told them about the owl.

Rockefeller Tree Owl
Facebook/Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

Upon arrival at the center, it became clear the diminutive owl wasn't a baby at all—it was an adult male Saw-whet, the smallest variety of owl in the Northeast. With fluids, food, and a cozy blanket, the little guy is expected to make a full recovery.

"So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he's been through," Ravensbeard Wildlife Center wrote in a now-viral Facebook post. "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."

The center said a return trip would likely be too traumatic for the bird they've nicknamed "Rockefeller," so they plan to release him on facility grounds.

Ellen Kalish, the Ravensbeard center's director, told The New York Times that the circumstances under which the owl had arrived were "very unusual."

"I've been doing this [for] 20 years and I've never had a case like this," she said.

It's a true Christmas miracle.

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