The little owl that drove a trip to the Big Apple earlier this week will soon be released back into the wild, the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center announced Saturday. The owl named Rockefeller was foundof the 75-foot-tall spruce from Norway that serves as this year’s iconic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
The adult male northern owl, one of the smallest owl species in North America, was found by workers early in the week and was taken to the wildlife center in Saugerties, New York, located approx. 2 hours away from Rockefeller Center.
It was predicted that Rockefeller had not had food or water during his three-day trip in the tree to Manhattan. But the center provided him with fluids and mice and announced Friday that his x-rays were “all ready.”
“He’s moved to an outdoor location so he can get used to the weather,” Ravensbeard posted on Facebook. “Today we are scouting places and deciding the best timing for his release, which is likely to be tomorrow or Monday.”
Although Rockefeller will soon return to wildlife, his iconic namesake Rockefeller Center said Thursday that he “will always have VIP access to this tree.” The tree is lit on December 2nd.
Since Ravensbeard first wrote about Rockefeller, they have raised more than $ 12,000 to help them care for him and the other birds in their care. The non-profit group rehabilitates all kinds of bird life, including ducks, turkeys and other birds of prey. The center said on GoFundMe that it has hosted more than 150 birds in the past year.