After being trapped in this year's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a tiny owl has been rescued and is on its way to recovery.
Each winter, an estimated 125 million people flock to 45 Rockefeller Plaza to witness one of Midtown Manhattan's eye-catching attractions: the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
Of course, the holiday festivities looked a little different this year. New York City has been through the ringer in 2020, with public schools once again closed, bars struggling to stay afloat in colder temperatures, and public transit at risk of severe budget cuts. Still, one may think that upcoming Christmas festivities would help diffuse the gloom of a ruthless second wave.
Turns out we can't even have a good Rockefeller Christmas Tree this year. As the 75-foot, 11-ton evergreen was hoisted up in the plaza, onlookers only had one word to describe the scene: underwhelming.
Charlie Brown: I have the saddest Christmas Tree. Rockefeller Center: Hold my beer. https://t.co/OexnJvaf86— Emily Brandwin (@Emily Brandwin)1605644324.0
In the tree's defense, it had just traveled about 200 miles from upstate New York, and its fragile-looking branches are apparently just a result of being wrapped up during the trip. Top tree officials say this year's Rockefeller Christmas Tree should look normal by the first week of December when its official lighting occurs.
But the sad unveiling wasn't the only strange thing about the tree this year. It had, unbeknownst to humans, been housing a tiny, helpless owl.
They found a small owl inside of this year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree, he hitched a ride all the way to NYC and i… https://t.co/cFLLo3QcLF— Allison Esposito Medina (@Allison Esposito Medina)1605725148.0
The owl, which has obviously been named Rockefeller, was taken to Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in nearby Saugerties, New York, where employees identified his breed as saw-whet and have "given him fluids and are feeding him all the mice he will eat."
"I've been doing this 20 years and I've never had a case like this," Ravensbeard director Ellen Kalish told the New York Times.
But unusual conditions aside, Rockefeller thankfully seems to be doing well according to his caretakers.
"So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he's been through," Ravensbeard wrote in a Facebook post. "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."
Due to how dehydrated and hungry Rockefeller was, folks at Ravensbeard suspected he'd somehow made the entire 200-mile trip inside the tree from upstate to Manhattan. It is common, however, for saw-whet birds to pass through New York City while migrating south. Maybe Rockefeller was just hoping to do some socially-distanced sightseeing.
Either way, until Rockefeller is let back into the wild, he can rest easy knowing he's already growing a steady Twitter following.
The awesome folks at Ravensbeard have taken such good care of me! They have a buffet available and I’ve eaten 2 wh… https://t.co/lkHriRZoKV— Rockefeller the Owl (@Rockefeller the Owl)1605814094.0
Moral of the story: If a tiny owl can survive being trapped in the country's biggest Christmas tree, you can make it through the rest of 2020.
New releases from Baby Smoove, Yung Baby Tate & more
Many of you are waking up to a good amount of mainstream releases this morning. With new releases from YUNGBLUD and Shawn Mendes, pop fans are having a good day today.
"After The Rain" – Yung Baby Tate<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7cf66c3c1e1c304ba3a7385dc7152511"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KeR0GRHiOdM?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Yung Baby Tate is through with comparisons. The ATL emcee and vocalist finally released her <em>After the Rain </em>EP today, her mother's birthday (the legendary Dionne Farris). It's her first release on Issa Rae's Raedio label, which she was signed to earlier this year. </p><p>The braggadocious EP is filled with both audacious bubble-gum rhymes and brooding soulful crooning. Building off the versatile momentum of last year's confident debut, <em>Girls</em>, Tate has begun to distance herself from the Nicki Minaj comparisons that overshadowed her last project. </p><p>Her honeyed voice glides on "Baecation" and cracks like a whip on melodic trap offerings like "Bounce." Overall, it's her charisma that gives the project its distinctive flair. "Oh damn, I just outdid b*tches again," she snaps on "Rainbow Cadillac." "If they wasn't hating so hard, we probably could've been friends." </p>
"Waiting to Die" – Working on Dying<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:2SbgyrDcbsPnuBEeg2amNK" id="3b0cb" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cf438e0b18496e0264a98dca40a6a295" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>The debut project from the platinum-selling production collective Working on Dying, <em>Waiting to Die</em> is a haunting collection of woozy instrumentals and quippy rhymes from indie emcees like Key!, Robb Banks, Lucki, and Father.</p><p>The project is an all-consuming experience. Tracks like "Cedric Benson" and "Loose Screw" are muddied and fast-paced, building on the collective's signature "tread" subgenre. Meanwhile, tracks like "Off the Lead" and "FYB" find newcomers Hula and Lancey Foux casually slinking alongside a distorted gurgle of synths and high hats. WOD's debut will scratch the itch for anyone who loved their grimy work on <em>Eternal Atake</em>.<br></p>
"Belair Baby 2" – LBS Kee'vin<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="57762b0729001b95cfdfd02db25c8fb8"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RV4EtSiI1_s?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>LBS Kee'vin's melodic spitfire has earned him a significant amount of buzz in 2020. In January, the Florida emcee <a href="https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8548072/florida-rapper-lbs-keevin-signs-visionary-records" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">signed with Visionary Records</a>, which had just announced a massive partnership with Sony Music. LBS then started cranking out work in 2020, releasing <em>Belair Baby</em> earlier this year, only to quickly follow up with its sequel today. </p><p>With features from 42 Dugg, Juicy J, <a href="https://www.popdust.com/interview-2647880210.html" target="_self">and Luh Kel</a>, <em>Belair Baby 2</em> is a captivating ride that rolls along with confidence. Kee'vin bounces hand-in-hand with Dugg's choppy flow on "Shining," before exhaling a turbulent freestyle on "John Doe" and howling with earnestness on "Toxic" and "Mixed Emotions." Kee'vin covers a lot of melodic ground in the project's half-hour runtime, and it makes for a captivating listen.</p>
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