Rockefeller Christmas tree owl stars in a children’s book

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The adorable owl who was freed from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is now flying back to New York City in a new children’s book — just in time for the holidays.

Written by new author T. Troy Kolo., “Rockefeller The Christmas Owl” is based on real events when an adorable owl was found in the 75-foot Norway spruce sent to Rockefeller Center in November.

The Christmas tale follows the owl, aptly named Rockefeller, as he meets with some holiday friends — one of whom is none other than Santa Claus — on his impromptu journey through New York City.

Kolo., a Scranton, Pennsylvania native, published the book Dec. 8 and was, of course, inspired by the real-life owl’s surprise visit to the Big Apple.

“When I had heard the news, I immediately thought, ‘Boy, gee, there is a story there that practically writes itself,’ ” the 52-year-old told The Post. “When the idea struck immediately after hearing about [the owl], I sat down and started to do a couple of verses and in a few days I had something finished.”

The cover of Rockefeller The Christmas Owl
“Rockefeller The Christmas Owl” by T. Troy Kolo.
Amazon

Like most great Christmas stories, the deeper meaning is about love and family ties, Kolo. explained.

“It’s about getting back to your parents and the importance of family and how deep that runs within most of us,” he said.

In his version of Rockefeller’s journey, the bird gets to enjoy the wonders of New York during the holidays on his accidental trip with illustrations that depict the winter wonderland that is Rockefeller Center in December.

“I’m particularly fond of the middle part of the book where they are actually in Rockefeller Plaza,” Kolo. explained. “Rockefeller first gets his glimpse of New York City and as in awe of all of the lights and so forth … I think a handful of people would agree, it’s New York and the iconic tree. So that’s what led me to pursue this.”

Pages from Rockefeller The Christmas Owl
“Rockefeller The Christmas Owl” by T. Troy Kolo.
Amazon

The real owl — an adult northern saw-whet — was found trapped in the tree and caused quite a stir on social media. After careful removal, the owl was released into the wild by the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, NY, in the hopes it would return back to its family in upstate Oneonta where the tree was cut down.

Rockefeller Owl
Credit: Ravensbeard Wildlife Center
caption: A Secret in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Ravensbeard is excited to share a rare Holiday story with you.  
Yesterday morning, I received a phone call from someone who asked if we take in owls for rehabilitation.  I replied, “yes we do,” there was silence for a moment and she said “OK, I'll call back when my husband comes home, he’s got the baby owl in a box tucked in for the long ride.”  
I asked where her husband was when he found the owl.  She said he works for the company that transports and secures the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.
She lived about an hour south so we met in the middle to do the transfer.  Once secured, I peaked in the box and saw this little face looking up at me.  He/she was a little Saw-whet owl, the smallest owls we have in the northeast.  All baby owls are born in the spring so the idea that there was a baby owl in November didn’t make sense.
Back at Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, we’ve given him fluids and are feeding him all the mice he will eat.  It had been three days since he ate or drank anything.  So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through.  Once he checks in with the vet and gets a clean bill of health, he’ll be released to continue on his wild and wonderful journey. 
Our hearts go out to all those "behind the scenes" workers.  Great job and thanks for saving "Rockefeller"!
Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

While this is his first book, Kolo. envisions Rockefeller’s next journey to fly from the page to the screen, since he believes the story lends itself well to an animated holiday project.

Until then, the tiny owl’s journey can be found within the 40 pages of the Christmas tale, making for a perfect holiday gift for the kids (and adults) in your life. The tome, illustrated by Meredith Miner, will ship in time for Christmas if ordered with Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping or expedited shipping. The book is also available to download on Kindle, for those who can’t wait for Rockefeller’s friend Santa to drop it off.

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