holidays

Rockefeller Christmas Tree Stowaway Owl Inspires New Children's Book

Rocky became an internet sensation following its discovery in the massive branches of last year's Norway Spruce

From upstate New York to the Big Apple, Rocky the owl stowed away on the 2020 Rockefeller Christmas tree — and now its journey has been chronicled in a children's book by no one other than the woman who nursed it back to health.

As Rocky became an internet sensation following its discovery in the massive branches of last year's Norway Spruce, Ellen Klish took care of the tiny, hungry and dehydrated bird for days before she was healthy enough to be released back into the wild.

Klish, director and founder of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York, was then inspired to write "The Christmas Owl."

Devon and Julie Price, along with their children, have all visited the Rockefeller Plaza during Christmas time before but they initially couldn't fathom parting way with the beautiful tree. NBC New York's Jen Maxfield reports.
Devon and Julie Price, along with their children, have all visited the Rockefeller Plaza during Christmas time before but they initially couldn't fathom parting way with the beautiful tree. NBC New York's Jen Maxfield reports.

"I just felt so fortunate to have this little owl come into my life, our lives, and be a little ambassador for what we do," Klish said.

While Klish's story about the little holiday surprise is based on the true story of Rocky's 170-mile journey to New York City, it is a children's book after all — one with a magical story about friendship and compassion.

The book is 40 pages and the story is for kids 4-8 years old. It was co-written by Gideon Sterer, an author who grew up in the woods of upstate New York.

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us