Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree's stowaway owl released back into the wild

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The owl that made headlines after being discovered hiding in this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was released back into the wild on Tuesday.

The saw-whet owl, who was named Rockefeller after being discovered in the tree, has been cared for by the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center since last week.

According to the wildlife center, a man who works for the company that transports and secures the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center found the bird tucked away inside the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce following the journey from Oneonta.

The man's wife called Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties in Ulster County, and the man brought the saw-whet owl to the facility himself.

The wildlife center says that when it first was able to treat the owl, it had been days since the bird ate or drank anything.

The sanctuary has been working to get the owl back to its proper weight and while Rockefeller was supposed to be released Saturday, the sanctuary delayed the event to monitor the owl’s health further.

On Tuesday, the center said Rockefeller was cleared by specialists to be released back into the wild.

The owl was released back onto its migratory journey at dusk.

Ravensbeard Wildlife Center is still looking to raise funding for a permanent home. Anyone who wishes to donate can contribute to the center’s GoFundMe page.

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