Each holiday season since 1931, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree has brought people from miles around to New York City. This year’s tree has also brought along a small owl–the smallest in the northeast, to be exact.
A saw-whet owl who was hiding amongst the branches of the 75-foot fir was rescued before the tree was felled, tied up, and transported 170 miles from Oneonta in upstate New York to the Big Apple.
According to NBC News, a worker who helped deliver and position the tree at Rockefeller Center saw the owl and stored it in a box.
The owl was taken to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center where specialists were able to nurse the bird back to health.
“Yesterday morning, I received a phone call from someone who asked if we take in owls for rehabilitation,” Ravensbeard Wildlife Center director Ellen Kalish posted to Facebook. “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 am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.