Well, it’s officially Christmastime as a 75-foot tall Norway Spruce has been kidnapped from its home upstate and thrust into a foster home at 30 Rock Plaza. It is the year 2020 so naturally, the tree looked like the rest of us at this point: haggard. As soon as the now-Christmas tree was erected New Yorkers took to social media to complain about the tree’s appearance. But, it’s not all bad!
No, the sad, demised tree still had life in her yet. A little stowaway was tucked in the branches and had ridden the 170-mile journey clinging to a branch for dear life. A tiny Saw-whet owl was discovered shortly after the truck that transported the tree to NYC was parked.
An ugly tree in Rockefeller Center caused dismay until detractors discovered that a cute owl was hiding in the tree’s branches.
Could the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree look any worse?— Rex Chapman???????? (@RexChapman) November 17, 2020
2020on brand… pic.twitter.com/6K2n4bX9u7
New Yorkers watched as laborers installed the tree in Rockefeller Center. However, they quickly noticed that the spruce was not as handsome as others on display in previous years.
Many people compared the sad-looking tree to Charlie Brown’s scrawny Christmas tree that he pitied. The lower branches appeared almost completely bare and the tree leaned to one side. Many remarked that it was the icing on the cake for a year most horrible.
Ladies and Gentlemen – the Christmas tree has arrived at Rockefeller Center in NYC. Left pic is how it looked when it was cut down. Right pic is how it arrived.— ???? Depoetic (@Depoetic) November 17, 2020
Welcome to 2020. pic.twitter.com/bKSq87BVP1
As you can see in the image above, there’s a side-by-side of the tree before its adventure and then after. 170 miles can apparently do a lot to you. However, there was a surprise! An owl was found in “good condition.” A Christmas miracle, no doubt!
“Yesterday morning, 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,’ ” the center shared.
The birdie was determined to be an adult male Saw-whet owl, the smallest variety of owl in the northeast United States, according to the center.
“All baby owls are born in the spring so the idea that there was a baby owl in November didn’t make sense,” the center explained.
The center named the owl Rockefeller which is just so tender. Rockefeller is recovering and being given fluids and “all the mice he will eat.”
“It had been three days since he ate or drank anything,” the center said. “So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through.”
Once the owl “gets a clean bill of health” and checks in with a vet, he will be released on the property of the wildlife center as they said it would be “more traumatic to transport him yet again.”
Ellen Kalish, the director and founder of the wildlife center, told NBC New York that the facility had “never seen anything like this.”
As to how the owl got into the celebrity tree, Kalish guesses he was strapped when the branches were tied together for transport.
“With all the commotion, I highly doubt that it flew in,” she speculated. “What I suspect was that it was in the tree when they cut it down and it probably got trapped when they wrapped the tree in some of the branches. It was there for I think what was a three-day journey to New York City and wasn’t found until they released the branches.”
She added that it was a “miracle” that the owl “wasn’t crunched” during the scary transport.
Rockefeller, the saw-whet owl would like to thank everyone for their kindness and generosity and let you all know that…Posted by Ravensbeard Wildlife Center on Friday, November 20, 2020
“They’re very resilient,” she said.
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center is a non-profit refuge that is raising funds for its forever home. If you’d like to donate to the care of Rockefeller visit their website to learn more.
The moral of the story is that ugly trees sometimes house beautiful birds. It turns out 2020 is only 95% bad. There’s still good in this world. Cling to it, people.