Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Ho, ho, how did that get there?

​​​​​​​This photo provided by the Ravensbeard Wildlife Centre shows a Saw-whet owl at the facility in Saugerties, New York on Wednesday. A worker helping to get the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City found the tiny owl among the trees massive branches on Monday. (Lindsay Possumato/Ravensbeard Wildlife Center via AP)

​​​​​​​This photo provided by the Ravensbeard Wildlife Centre shows a Saw-whet owl at the facility in Saugerties, New York on Wednesday. A worker helping to get the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City found the tiny owl among the trees massive branches on Monday. (Lindsay Possumato/Ravensbeard Wildlife Center via AP)

It wasn’t quite a partridge in a pear tree, but a worker helping set up the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree found a holiday surprise — a tiny owl among the massive branches.

The little bird — now named, what else but Rockefeller — was discovered on Monday, dehydrated and hungry.

Though otherwise unharmed, Rockerfeller was taken to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York, where founder and director Ellen Kalish, made the diagnosis.

The owl, now named Rockefeller, was taken to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center for care. (Lindsay Possumato/Ravensbeard Wildlife Center via AP)

Kalish said the bird is an adult male Saw-whet owl, one of the tiniest owls.

It was taken to a veterinarian on Wednesday and got a clean bill of health.

‘He’s had a buffet of all-you-can-eat mice, so he’s ready to go,’ she said, before adding that the plan was to release the owl back to the wild this weekend.

The tree, a 75-foot (23-meter) Norway spruce, had been brought to Manhattan on Saturday from Oneonta, New York, in the central part of the state.

Typically, the tree is put in place and decorated weeks before it being lit for the public in early December.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: