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Tiny owl found inside Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lifted into place by crane as it arrives at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City on Saturday. Crews preparing the 75-foot tall Norway spruce for display found a tiny owl hiding among the branches. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lifted into place by crane as it arrives at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City on Saturday. Crews preparing the 75-foot tall Norway spruce for display found a tiny owl hiding among the branches. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Crews setting up the 75-foot-tall Christmas tree at New York's Rockefeller Center made an unexpected discovery among the branches -- a tiny owl.

Ellen Kalish, director and founder of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, N.Y., said she received a call this week from the wife of a man who was part of the crew tasked with preparing the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce for display outside the New York City complex.

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The woman told Kalish her husband had found a baby owl inside the tree, but the rehabilitator said she soon discovered the raptor actually was an adult northern saw-whet, a species of owl that typically grows to only about 5 inches high.

"I thought it was such a heartwarming Christmas story, that there was this secret in the Christmas tree," Kalish told the New York Post.

The owl is now in the care of the wildlife center, which said the bird will be returned to the wild once it receives a clean bill of health from a veterinarian.

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