Rocky, the Northern Saw-whet Owl, rests on a rehabber's hand before taking off. Video still from the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center
The story of the Northern Saw-whet Owl, trapped in the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, happily ended Tuesday night when the bird, a woman nicknamed Rocky, was released into the wild.
Staff at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York took care of the owl for about a week and kept the public informed through their Facebook page.
Around noon on Tuesday they wrote:
“We have exciting new things to share! Rockefeller has been well looked after and cleared for launch by specialists (yes, we discovered Rocky is a girl!). Rocky will continue her migration journey south today at dusk. The release takes place at sunset so that she can find safe cover when it gets dark. We found just the right group of conifers to give her the security she needs. "
Here is the post and video showing the owl's release.
Ravensbeard is raising funds for a permanent establishment through GoFundMe. "The Ravensbeard Wildlife Center has been a haven for injured and orphaned wildlife for over 20 years," writes organizer Ellen Kalish. “However, the center had to move 5 years ago. And has since been set up as temporary rehab accommodation. This year we have taken in over 150 birds – far beyond our capacities.
“We need a permanent home where volunteers can easily come to work. Where we can expand the amount of heated and open air cages. A real clinic for holding supplies and freezers for food donations. Believe it or not, rodents are quite expensive and our birds are picky eaters. A place with a pond or lake for the water birds that we record every year. And space for students and visitors to learn about birds and receive support and care for our environment. “To donate, visit this page.
Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive news, photos of birds, tips on dressing and identification, and more in your inbox.
Sign up for free