People express their opinions about Rocky the Owl and the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree.

Monday, November 30, 2020. New York City – Every year in November, the Rockefeller Center cuts a Christmas Tree for the Center in Manhattan, New York City.

This year, a female northeast saw-whet owl was found among the tree’s massive branches on Monday, November 16, 2020.

The wife of Jason Ramos, who helped transport this year’s Christmas Tree from Oneonta in Upstate New York to the Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan, called Ellen Kalish, the founder and director of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, Upstate New York, to ask if the Center could take the tiny owl.

Ravensbeard Wildlife Center accepted to take the owl. They named her Rockefeller (or Rocky).

People are using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to express how they feel about Rocky and the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree.

On Thursday, November 19, 2020, the Rockefeller Center said on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, “While he’s a little bummed his big city vacation is over, we’re happy to report Rockefeller the Owl has been given a clean bill of health thanks to the efforts of @ravensbeardwildlifecenter and our staff!”?

People thought it was a male owl, but the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center says it is a female saw-whet owl.


Beatrice: “And I hope very much they are considering to return the little fellow to his home, where he’s from, where he knows where to get his food snd most probably his family is awaiting his return.”
(Rocky was not returned to Oneonta. She was released in Saugerties. Click here to read more.)

Erin Biba: “This is a truly disgusting attempt at emergency PR to rebrand the fact that you nearly killed a wild animal after tearing down it’s home.”

Minda Zwerin, Mamaleh speaking: “VACATION? That’s how you’re going to sell this? You terrified a poor animal and named him after yourselves so you could feel good about it. Plush animals and books about this are next, right?”

danielle sinay: “Grateful for Ravensbeard Wildlife Center but feel absolutely awful for this owl. You cut down his home & unless something’s changed since what I last read, he doesn’t even get to go back. This isn’t heartwarming. It’s heart breaking.”

Sharyn Morrow: “What a truly awful take. This was not a vacation for the poor owl. You chopped down their natural habitat and nearly killed them in the process. If you had left the tree alone the owl would never have been put in this situation.”

Jaycee: “If you’re gonna try to frame it as a “vacation” then you should make sure he goes back to his home, back to his possible family! Back to his familiar surroundings and friends. Otherwise this is a forceable relocation. That doesn’t sound nearly as heartwarming now does it.”


Ron Yetter: “Wonder how many other animals were lost on the way there. Had to be more than one animal in that huge tree.”

Kathleen Anne: “HE NEEDS TO GO HOME.”

Ma Lc: “what big vacation? what kind of revisionism is this? he was brutally taken from his home thats what happened. please reconsider your tradition and become forward looking and an example – here’s a few ideas: annual competition for artists to design a “green” and sustainable tree made out of some sort of repurposed/recycled material. It would be an engaging way to attract more art to the city and position NY as a leader in more forward looking, sustainable practices. This is an opportunity to rethink these old traditions.”

Rene’ Voelzow-Williams: “They need to take him back where he was residing.”

Dorothy Caggiano Selzer: “An amazing story, so beautiful and so happy he survived the trip from Oneonta.”

Kari LeBeau: “This is a terrible story, and I’m sad that noone bothered to bring it back to it’s natural habitat. It should’ve been returned home. Smh.”

Mary Ann Cicio: “Since the owl is a she, wouldn’t it be very appropriate to call her “rockette”??”


joeyd_63: “Don’t you think it’s wrong this owl was trapped in netting for 3 days & now completely displaced from its home. This lack of care for wildlife is not cute or special. Should You not do surveillance on your chosen tree for weeks prior to check for wildlife? This is just sad & another example of greed & entitlement.”

tmcv_21: “It wasn’t a vacation, you cut down his home. Making sure it was okay is the least you could do. The owl was separated from his family for entertainment. I love my city but that’s not okay.”

speechteach224: “Well this is sad….you ruined his habitat and removed him from his family…all for a tree that no one is even going to see in a pandemic in a city about to be locked down.”

andreahazen: “Poor little guy. Maybe it is time to reconsider taking away these critters’ homes for one month of pleasure for humans and come up with a different, more sustainable solution for trees.”

katxwest: “Dude, wtf. Take this guy back to the woods you got this tree from. That’s fucked.”

ms3pugz: “How about STOP cutting down beautiful live trees that are protection and home to beautiful birds and owls like this…displacing them….and start putting up an artificial tree…by the looks of this tree it would be an improvement anyway…Poor owl is far from the area it knew…SAD.”

_ivettemaria: “Stop cutting beautiful trees. Start changing tradition.”

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Seeing a need for energetic, nonprofit work in this area, we formed our organization to provide sensible solutions. We’ve consistently grown since then, all thanks to the helping hands of this amazing community!

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We focus on making the maximum positive effort for our community. Our members and volunteers provide the momentum that helps us affect change. Using data driven models, we provide solutions that make a long-lasting difference.

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Thanks Ravensbeard Wildlife Center for taking care of this beautiful female saw-whet owl and FOR RELEASING HER.

The Sow-whet owl was spotted Monday, November 16, 2020, by Jason Ramos (left) within the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and brought upstate to Ravenbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties. (Photo courtesy of Ellen Kalish)
The Sow-whet owl was spotted Monday, November 16, 2020, by Jason Ramos (left) within the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and brought upstate to Ravenbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties. (Photo courtesy of Ellen Kalish)

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