NEW YORK — A tiny owl found in the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was released back into the wild on Tuesday.
Rockefeller, or Rocky, the tiny, appropriately named, saw-whet owl found in the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce as it was unfurled was nursed back to health and medically cleared to be returned to her natural habitat.
“Rocky’s release was a success,” the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, where she was cared for, said on social media. “She is a tough little bird and we’re happy to see her back in her natural habitat.”
Rocky spent days at the wildlife center, where she was given fluids and a steady diet of mice. She was initially believed to be a male because of her weight, but it was later determined she was an undersized female, WNBC reported.
Video of the release shows Ellen Kalish, founder of the wildlife center, remove Rocky from her carrier. Kalish pets the back of the bird’s head. The owl remains perched on Kalish’s outstretched arm before flying to a nearby branch. Rocky hops to another branch before flying away.
“We are sure that Rocky will feel your love and support through her journey south,” rescuers said.