Tiny owl clings onto Christmas tree that rode 170 miles into New York City’s Rockefeller Center

An owl was rescued after it was discovered clinging to a Christmas tree.

The bird was found by workers helping to transport the spruce 170 miles from Oneonta, New York, to New York City.

“It’s just a story out of a movie,” said Ravensbeard Wildlife Center director Ellen Kalish, who is caring for the saw-whet owl.

The bird now named Rockefeller was dropped off with Ms Kalish and taken to the wildlife centre, her team began giving him fluids and “all the mice he will eat”

Rockefeller had not had anything to eat or drink during his three-day road trip. “It’s amazing he didn’t get crushed,” Ms Kalish said.

Rockefeller was taken to the vet on Wednesday night for a check-up and some X-rays, but Ms Kalish said he appears to be in great condition considering his adventurous week.

Rockefeller Owl

“So far, he’s pensive and cautious. Very alert, bright-eyed,” she said.

Despite Rockefeller’s diminutive size, he is a full-grown adult. Saw-whet owls are the smallest owls in the US north-east, Ms Kalish said, typically growing to no more than 8.3 inches tall.

“They’re a very interesting species,” Ms Kalish said. They are “very” nocturnal, meaning they’re typically not seen unless someone is looking for them. Some migrate south for the winter, and some don’t migrate at all.

Once Rockefeller has a clean bill of health, Ms Kalish and the Ravensbeard team will release him back into the wild. “Our goal is to release any bird that can be released,” she said.

There are about two million saw-whet owls across the US, she said, so Rockefeller will be OK if he doesn’t make it all the way back to Oneonta.