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Miracle On 34th Street

When a worker was helping set up the Christmas tree at New York's Rockefeller Centre he discovered a tiny bird tucked among its giant branches last week.

So, like all good husbands, he called his wife for advice. She, in turn, called the experts at Ravensbeard Wildlife Center and asked if they took birds in for rehabilitation. “Yes we do,” a staff member replied on the phone. There was silence for a moment, then the wife said, “Okay, I’ll call back when my husband is on the way home."

When a staff member met the husband halfway between New York and the refuge, they peeked in the box. It wasn’t just a baby bird. It was a tiny male saw-whet owl - which grows to be only 8 inches tall at full size. So cute!

Rescuers fed the owl and gave him fluids. Having made a 170 mile journey in a trailer from Oneonta to Manhattan, it definitely needed the TLC. Ravensbeard Wildlife Center director Ellen Kalish said the owl was seen by a vet and given X-rays, and has since been declared fit and healthy.

“It’s just a story out of a movie,” said Kalish, who is now caring for the bird. Over the past few days, the little bird has had - in true New York style - a buffet of "all-you-can-eat mice” and is now ready to go back into the wild. But it's likely to be the only owl ever given the nickname Rockefeller.

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