There was something else besides a star at the top of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree this year.
An adorable little owl was rescued from the tree after it was discovered by workers who were setting the tree up in the Manhattan square.
The adult male Saw-whet owl, who was fittingly named “Rockefeller,” is believed to have hitched a ride on the 80-year-old Norway Spruce all the way down to New York City. The 75-foot-tall tree was cut from the side of the road off of New York State Route 23 in Oneonta.
Say hello to the 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree! Hailing from Oneonta, NY, this Norway Spruce will arrive at…
The tree was donated by Al Dick of Daddy Al’s General Store, which is about two miles east from where the tree stood. Workers placed the 11-ton tree on a flatbed and drove it with the owl in tow about three hours downstate to Rockefeller Plaza.
“We inspect each branch of the tree individually before it’s wrapped, but birds sometimes can find their way into it on the journey,” a Rockefeller Center spokesperson said in a statement, according to Patch.
Rockefeller survived the three-hour drive on Saturday morning and was found Monday dehydrated and hungry.
Rockefeller was taken to Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York.
The first thing Rockerfeller did when he got to the center was chug some water and gulp down some frozen mice.
That tiny guy was very thirsty and hungry.
“I just want to make sure he’s well-fed before he goes,” Director Ellen Kalish told the Daily Freeman. “He was a little on the thin side when he came in. He probably hadn’t eaten in a number of days.
Rockefeller, the saw-whet owl would like to thank everyone for their kindness and generosity and let you all know that…
The center planned on getting Rockerfeller a vet exam and x-ray to make sure he didn’t break any bones on the truck ride to Rockefeller Plaza.
“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’s Facebook page read.
Kalish said that the Saw-whet owl, which is one of the smallest owl species in the U.S., would be released soon from the center’s grounds in Saugerties.
While he’s a little bummed his big city vacation is over, we're happy to report Rockefeller the Owl has been given a…
The first Rockefeller Christmas tree was put up by construction workers in 1931, while the first tree lighting ceremony was held two years later.
It was first aired on TV in 1951.
Though this year’s ceremony, the 88th annual tree lighting ceremony, won’t have any crowds in attendance, organizers say it’s even more important to celebrate the tree’s lighting this year.
“This year, we just feel the tree is vital,” Rob Speyer, President and CEO of Tishman Speyer, which owns Rockefeller Center, said in a statement. “The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree always represents the holiday season, but it has also stood tall as a symbol of hope, resilience, and New York’s enduring spirit, from the Great Depression to 9/11, Superstorm Sandy through today.”
Let the holiday season begin! The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has officially arrived at the Plaza. 🎄
There will be more than 50,000 multicolored LED lights on the tree this year and will be topped with a star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind.
The star alone will weigh 900 pounds and be covered in 3 million crystals.
This year’s tree lighting ceremony will be televised on NBC at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
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