A baby owl has been rescued and rehabilitated after being found roosting in New York City’s Rockefeller Christmas tree.
On Saturday, an arborist discovered the sickly saw-whet owl hidden on a branch after the tree had been chopped down and transported to Manhattan.
The worker’s wife contacted the Ravensbeared Wildlife Center in upstate New York to see if she would be bring in the badly malnourished bird so that it could be nursed back to full health.
‘It had been three days since he ate or drank anything,’ the wildlife sanctuary said in a Facebook post.
A baby owl has been rescued and rehabilitated after being found roosting in New York City’s Rockefeller Christmas tree. Animal lovers are calling the story a ‘Christmas miracle’
Online Grinches have slammed the ‘scraggly’ Rockefeller Christmas tree as ‘the perfect symbol of 2020’. Above, the tree is seen as it is erected on Saturday
Photos of the tree circulated online soon after it was erected on Saturday morning
On Satiurday, an arborist discovered the sickly saw-whet owl hidden on a branch in the tree after it had been transported to Manhattan
The shelter started the owl on a steady diet of fluids and mice, and he is now recovering nicely.
‘So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through. 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 in their Facebook post.
Many followers responded, calling the story a ‘Christmas miracle’.
The owl has been aptly named ‘Rockefeller’.
One of the workers tasked with felling and transporting the tree discovered a baby owl
But while the tale of the owl may have warmed hearts across the country, others were left feeling frosty by the sight of the scraggly Rockefeller tree as it was erected over the weekend.
Photos of the tree circulated online drawing disparaging remarks from a legion of Scrooges.
‘An accurate representation of 2020,’ wrote Instagram user
‘I expected nothing in 2020 to be good nice, or pretty and this tree confirms my dire expectations,’ one
‘Decorate it with some limbs please,’ another chimed in.
‘This is treeson,’ punned one user.
The Rockefeller Center clapped back in a tweet written in the voice of the tree itself: ‘Wow, you all must look great right after a two-day drive, huh? Just wait until I get my lights on! See you on December 2!’
It follows a similar controversy in Cincinnati, where the tree installed in Fountain Square was panned as a shrub reminiscent of ‘Charlie Brown’.
Photos of the tree before it was felled and transported show a lush, symmetrical specimen.
By Saturday afternoon scaffolding had already gone up around the tree, and workers were busy coaxing the limbs back into place and stringing some five miles of lights through its branches.
By Sunday scaffolding had already gone up around the tree, and workers were busy coaxing the limbs back into place and stringing some five miles of lights
View of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree being set up at Rockefeller Plaza on Sunday
The tree is seen where it stood in Oneonta before it was cut down on Thursday. Homeowner ‘Daddy Al’ Dick said that while the tree was beloved, he was glad to donate it due to the difficulties it created for yard maintenance
The tree’s annual lighting ceremony will take place on December 2. There will be no public access to the ceremony, though it will be televised nationally on NBC beginning at 7pm Eastern time.
Visitors should be able to visit the tree during the holiday season — though Mayor Bill de Blasio still hasn’t revealed plans to allow in-person viewing while limiting crowd sizes.
‘Details about how to visit the lit Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be announced in the coming weeks,’ the property managers said in a statement.
The holiday cheer comes amid a resurgence in the pandemic in New York City and across the country. De Blasio on Wednesday announced that city schools would close indefinitely as new cases surged.
Al Dick (left) of Daddy Al’s General Store in Oneonta donated the tree to Rockefeller Center
Workers in Oneonta, New York, on Thursday prepare to cut down a 75ft-tall, 11-ton Norway Spruce that was chosen to be the tree that will be displayed at Rockefeller Center this holiday season
The tree is estimated to be between 75 and 80 years old, according to the family that owned it
Every year, the Rockefeller Center tree is decorated with thousands of lights on a five-mile-long wire and topped with a large star. This year’s star will weigh 900 pounds, made up of some 3 million Swarovski crystals on 70 illuminated spikes.
This year’s tree was donated by Daddy Al’s General Store in Oneonta. ‘Daddy Al’ Dick said he was honored to have his tree erected in Rockefeller Plaza, and glad to be rid of the extra yard work it created.
It will likely remain on display in Rockefeller Center until early next year, at which point the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, which will recycle it for use as lumber.
The 75-foot tall Norway spruce arrived at Rockefeller Center in the early morning hours accompanied by a police escort along the 185-mile route from Oneonta, New York
In-person spectators will not be allowed at the lighting ceremony, which usually draws hundreds of holiday well-wishers
Every year, the Rockefeller Center tree is decorated with thousands of lights on a five-mile-long wire and topped with a large star. It is visited by millions of tourists and residents
New York City received a much-need boost on Saturday with the arrival of a giant Christmas tree that marks the unofficial start of the 2020 holiday season
The tree is pictured being transported into the plaza outside the Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan
Tishman Speyer, the company that owns Rockefeller Center, has said it’s especially proud to keep up the tree tradition this year.
The pandemic has spurred the cancellation of some other New York holiday customs, such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
It’s estimated that more than 125 million people typically visit Rockefeller Center during the holidays, but with tourism stalled amid the pandemic, it’s unlikely the usual frenzy will appear this year.
While this year’s tree measures at a towering 75 feet, the tallest ever spruce to stand in the center was seen in 1999, which was 100 foot tall. The tree that year came from Killingworth, Connecticut.