By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Rocky, the Saw-whet owl found inside “Daddy Al” Dick’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, will be released this evening into a conifer forest near Saugerties, where she has spent the last week rehabilitating after her three-day, 170 mile journey from Oneonta to Manhattan.
When we picked Rocky up she was struggling,” said Ellen Kalish, Ravensbeard Wildlife Center Director and Founder. “We believe it had been about three days since she ate or drank anything. The first order of business was to give her fluids and feed her all the mice she could eat.”
During her recovery, Kalish was also surprised to discover that Rocky was actually female.
“She was underweight so we assumed at the time she was male as males typically weigh less – on average only 75g –while females typically weigh a little more, about 100g. So it was a surprise to find out Rocky was a girl.”
While she was recuperating, Ravensbeard consulted with avian veterinarians and respected owl researchers, who concluded that in order to continue her migration south, Rocky will be released within a local conifer forest.
“This has been an incredible experience, we are so appreciative of all the supportive comments and messages we’ve received.” said Kalish. “It’s almost as if Rocky’s tenacity represents the strength that all of us have been trying to exhibit throughout this difficult year.”