This next story is a friendly reminder to always double-check before taking a piece of nature home with you. A tiny owl, whose only wish was to make a Norway spruce his home, found himself unwillingly hitching a ride into the big city inside a Christmas tree.
The tiny brown owl settled in a 75-foot magnificent Norway spruce up in Oneonta, New York. Unfortunately for the tiny owl, the tree was chosen to be the traditional Rockafeller Christmas tree and cut down that night.
Thankfully, a vigilant worker spotted the tiny critter amidst the branches and minutes after leaving the site. Knowing that he can’t turn around to return the owl to his habitat, the man placed the creature in a cardboard box.
The New York-based rescue organization Ravensbeard Wildlife Center posted their side of the story on Facebook. They wrote: “I received a phone call from someone who asked if we take in owls for rehabilitation. I replied, ‘Yes we do‘. There was silence for a moment and she said, ‘OK, I’ll call back when my husband comes home, he’s got the baby owl in a box tucked in for the long ride.’”
When a volunteer at the rescue center came to pick the owl up, he discovered that the owl wasn’t a baby at all. He was a fully grown, sweet Saw-whet owl, the smallest type of owl in the Northeast, measuring roughly the same size as a robin.
A quick examination revealed that the ride of the tiny owl in the Christmas tree prevented him from access to food and water. Thankfully with the love and care of the staff at the rescue shelter, it wasn’t long before he bounced back to full health.
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center later wrote: “His eyes are bright and [he] 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.”
Experts believe that transporting the owl, who’s now known as Rockafeller, all the way back to his original habitat would be too traumatic for him. Luckily Saw-whet owls are extremely adaptive, so Rockafeller should feel right at home at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, where he’ll have more than enough new trees to choose from.
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H/T – The Dodo