An owl that was rescued from the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree has been released back into the wild.
The tiny Saw-whet owl was named Rockefeller – Rocky for short – after it was found by a worker setting up the tree on November 16 at the Manhattan complex.
The owl was apparently trapped in the 75ft Norway spruce when it was cut down 170 miles north, in New York on November 12.
The female owl, initially thought to be male, was uninjured but had not eaten for at least three days when she was discovered and sent to Ravensbeard Wildlife Centre in the Hudson Valley town of Saugerties. There, a rehabilitator nursed her back to health for a week with plenty of mice before Rocky was cleared to continue her migratory journey south.
On Tuesday evening, rehabilitator Ellen Kalish held the winsome raptor aloft in a field against a backdrop of rounded mountains. In a video posted on Ravensbeard’s Facebook page, Rocky sits quietly on Ms Kalish’s fingers before winging her way over to a nearby grove of pines.
“She is a tough little bird and we’re happy to see her back in her natural habitat,” the centre wrote on Facebook. “We are sure that Rocky will feel your love and support through her journey south.”