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Meet Rocky The Owl, Everyone’s New Favorite Christmas Tree Stowaway.

Every year, a massive spruce tree is harvested from upstate New York and transported by truck to the heart of New York City to serve as the official Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

Setting up and lighting the tree is a traditional kickoff to the holiday season, but this time around, it contained a little extra cheer.

The tree was cut down in Oneonta, New York, and traveled 170 miles on a flatbed trailer before arriving at its destination. That’s when workers discovered a tiny stowaway among the massive branches.

Ellen Kalish, the director of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York, received a call from a woman whose husband was on the tree’s transport team. While they were setting it up, they found an owl so tiny they assumed she was a baby!

Ellen arranged to meet up with them and then took the bird back to Ravensbeard to be checked out.

“Once secured, I peaked in the box and saw this little face looking up at me. [She] was a little saw-whet owl, the smallest owls we have in the northeast,” Ellen shared on Facebook. “All baby owls are born in the spring, so the idea that there was a baby owl in November didn’t make sense.”

Adult saw-whet owls only grow to be about 8.3 inches tall, so this little one turned out to be fully grown (and incredibly adorable). After being examined by a vet, she was found to be hungry and thirsty but otherwise in good health.

“So far, [she’s] pensive and cautious. Very alert, bright-eyed,” Ellen said. “And the cuteness factor is just off the charts.”

It wasn’t long before the owl, whom they decided to call Rockefeller or “Rocky,” was fully rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

“Rocky’s release was a success!” the wildlife center wrote. “She is a tough little bird and we’re happy to see her back in her natural habitat.”

Lest you worry that you won’t be able to see Rocky anymore, Frontier Airlines will be featuring her on a new plane tail. We can’t wait to see her soaring through the skies!

It just goes to show that you never know WHO you’ll run into in New York City! We’re so glad this little stowaway made it back where she belongs.

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