Apparently a Brooklyn man brought this tiny saw-whet owl to Parks Department HQ in a shoebox, said “here’s an owl,” and walked away. But from these humble beginnings, Owl Jolson (YES) has gone on to become a local celebrity. Or, if that’s too much of an exaggeration, we can definitely say that he’s gone on to become a healthy owl, which is probably a better ambition for a baby owl anyway.

Owl Jolson is kind of a mysterious figure. He may not be a he — hard to tell with owls. And he may not be a baby — they thought he was a juvenile when he first came in, but saw-whets top out at 8 inches, so who can even tell? What we know is that he was suffering from head injuries and a droopy wing when he arrived at the Parks Department, but rangers nursed him back to health and now he’s been released into the wild to spread his cuteness far and wide. Gothamist, reliably on top of the “baby animals in New York City” beat, has a photo of the moment of release:

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Daniel Avila

Now please, nobody tell this undoubtedly trendy Brooklyn native that foxes are the new owls now.

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