While decorating New York’s famed Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is usually handled by city workers, this year’s tree came with one adornment already installed.
Workers who were erecting the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce over the weekend discovered a tiny owl that had apparently made the 1,200-mile trip to Manhattan with the tree.
Experts say the owl, which has been named “Rockefeller,” is a northern saw-whet, which grows to only 5 inches tall and weighs 2 or 3 ounces.
“I thought it was such a heartwarming Christmas story, that there was this secret in the Christmas tree,” says Ellen Kalish, who’s now caring for the owl at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center. She says she’s now feeding Rockefeller “all the mice he will eat.”