Skip to content

Owl in the Christmas tree

Owl in the Christmas tree

The family finds the owl in the Christmas tree after a week

Stowaway owl discovered in Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, 170 miles from home This story is quite the hoot! A tiny owl that was found after the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was cut down in upstate New York, then trucked to New York City, is recovering at a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

A stowaway owl made its way to New York City via the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree! 170 miles from his home in upstate New York, the owl was rescued from the tree and is recovering at a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

On Tuesday, the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center shared on Facebook the tale of the tiny bird, who was discovered in the branches of the 75-foot Norway spruce by a Rockefeller Center crew member.

“We’ve been in existence for 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Helen Kalish, director and founder of the wildlife center, told WNBC, an NBC affiliate. “The wife of the person that found the owl was calling around to try and get help for this little guy. Friends, He saw these little eyes looking at him and reached in and grabbed it. He didn’t fly away so he wasn’t sure if it was injured.”

“He seems to be doing very well, eating and drinking,” Kalish added of the owl’s condition. “I have an appointment with the vet later on today so we’re hoping that he gets a clean bill of health and he can go right back out there.”

 Rockefeller Center

“They’re very resilient.

The fact that he wasn’t crunched was a miracle. The fact that he made the trip alive… waking up in New York City with hundreds of people around? They’re very quiet and shy little creatures and are extremely nocturnal and very rarely seen. So it’s totally understandable that he wasn’t seen when they were transporting the tree.”

Kalish promises the owl, though “small and cute” in stature, is not a baby, but likely an adult Northern Saw-whet or Eastern screech owl. Oh, and his name? Why Rockefeller, of course.

A spokesperson from Rockefeller Center confirmed the stowaway story and sent TODAY this statement:

According to the Guardian,

The family had brought the tree to their home and decorated it before they spotted the bird, who initially didn’t want to leave.

A Georgia family got a real hoot from its Christmas tree: more than a week after they bought it, they discovered a live owl nestled among its branches.

Katie McBride Newman said on Friday that she and her daughter spotted the bird on 12 December. They had bought the 10ft-tall tree from a Home Depot, brought it back to their Atlanta area home, and decorated it with lights and, coincidentally, owl ornaments.

“It was surreal, but we weren’t really freaked out about it,” McBride Newman said. “We’re really outdoorsy people. We love the wilderness.”

The family opened windows and doors near the tree hoping the owl would fly away, but it didn’t.

“The owl seemed to be pretty comfortable, and I thought, ‘Hey buddy, it’s not going to go well if you just stay here. There’s no food, I’m sorry,’” said McBride Newman’s husband, Billy Newman.

So the family called a not-for-profit nature center for help. The Chattahoochee Nature Center caught the bird and helped the family release it.

Owl in the Christmas tree
Owl in the Christmas tree

McBride Newman said she believed the bird had been in the tree since they bought it but was hidden.

“We think he was just in there hugging the trunk,” she said. “It’s a very dense tree and it was very fresh. That’s why we picked it.”

A Georgia family found an owl hiding in their Christmas tree

Atlanta (According to CNN) A Georgia family got a special holiday surprise last week after finding an owl hiding inside their Christmas tree. The discovery came last Thursday evening when Katie McBride Newman and her two children, India and Jack, were finishing dinner.

India, 10, had started to clear the table and was in another room when Newman heard her exclaim, “Oh my gosh!”

“She comes very dramatically into the dining room and goes, ‘Mama, that ornament scared me,'” Newman told CNN. “Then she bursts into tears.”Newman said she’s a big fan of owls, so the tree actually had about a dozen owl ornaments gracing its branches.

At first, Newman said she thought India had just been spooked by one of those. So Newman checked it out, ready to calm her daughter’s fears. But when she peered into the tree for the ornament, she saw the owl turn its head and look straight at her.

“And I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s a real owl,'” Newman said. Meanwhile, India had disappeared into the other room, in tears again.

Owl may have been in their tree for over a week

The family had purchased the tree from a store about two days after Thanksgiving, so at first, they thought the owl must have flown in and taken refuge inside their tree, Newman’s husband, Billy, told CNN.

The family left their windows and doors open that night, hoping the bird would leave on its own — but it didn’t. The next day, they called the Chattahoochee Nature Center, a non-profit environmental center about an hour away from their home in Newnan.

An employee there told them to leave the owl some raw chicken, concerned it may not have eaten in a few days.

Who needs a tree topper when you have an owl?

Georgia family
Owl in the Christmas tree

The employee stopped by Saturday morning. She caught the bird and identified it as an Eastern screech owl, common in the Georgia area, a spokesperson for the nature center, Jon Copsey, told CNN. She also checked for injuries and gave it some food and nutritional supplements.

The owl was pretty thin, igniting the theory that the bird must have been inside the tree since they bought it, Billy Newman said. Returning the owl to the wild.

The employee left the family some instructions: Leave the bird in a crate in a darkened room and release it after dark. At dusk on Saturday, the family left the open crate outside. By 9:30 p.m., the owl had disappeared.

Copsey said the family did everything right in the situation — closing it off from the rest of the house, trying to help it escape on its own, and calling a wildlife rehabilitation professional. Katie Newman, though, says she swears she can still hear the owl at night, hooting away.

Christmis In July


One family in Georgia got the surprise of a lifetime. One night, they discovered an owl hiding inside their Christmas tree! Katie McBride Newman, her husband, and her two children, India and Jack had gotten their tree about a week earlier.

Their 10-year-old daughter India actually found the owl but thought it was an ornament at first. Turns out, Katie loves owls and the tree already had lots of owl ornaments. India came to Katie and said that “that ornament scared me,” and burst into tears.

Owl in the Christmas tree
Owl in the Christmas tree

When Katie went to go check it out, she saw the owl turn its head and look at her! She quickly realized it was a real owl hiding in their tree.

The family had purchased the tree from a store about a week earlier, so they thought the owl must have flown in and made its home in the tree. They kept some windows and doors open, hoping that the bird might leave on its own.

However, the owl was still there in the morning. They decided to call a nonprofit environmental center called Chattahoochee Nature Center.

An employee told them to leave some raw chicken for the owl to eat and that they would come by in the morning. The employee caught the bird, identified as an Eastern screech owl.

Next, the family was able to be involved in the process of returning the owl back to the wild. They put the bird in a crate in a darkened room.

At dusk, they left the opened crate outside and the bird flew away. Katie says she swears she can still hear the owl at night.

Owl in the Christmas tree

What a sweet Christmas memory they will all share forever!

check if your US visa is canceled

What is the symbolism behind the Christmas tree?

“That became a symbol of Christ — being triangular in shape it represents the trinity — and from there came the idea that the tree should be a symbol of Christ and new life,” Dr. Wilson said. “That’s one of the main origins of the Christmas tree and bringing it into the house.”

Is it good luck to take down the Christmas tree?

Even if you took down your Christmas tree over the weekend, you still may be too late to avoid bad luck.

According to a website called, some people believe that if you don’t remove your tree before midnight on New Year’s Eve, you will drag “all your baggage and bad luck from last year into the new year.”

Is a Christmas tree considered a religious symbol?

Christmas trees and menorahs are considered “holiday symbols,” meaning secular. On the other hand, Nativity scenes and the Ten Commandments denote religious symbolism.

Even though Christmas trees once carried religious connotations, the Supreme Court found that a Christmas tree, by itself, is not a religious symbol.

What does the Bible say about a Christmas tree?

2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.

How tall of a Christmas tree should I get?

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 6 inches between the top of your tree and the ceiling. This also accounts for a topper or any decorative stand that adds height to the tree.

So, if you have the standard 9-foot ceiling and a 12-inch angel topper, you’d want a 7.5-foot Christmas tree.

Owl in the Christmas tree