Great holiday cheer on the Mall with the tree at the Smithsonian Institution Castle, the Owl tree. It is a lovely spruce with varying birds and bird themes going through it. Most of the birds shown are owls.
Like all tall buildings in large urban city areas, these towering structures sometimes become the chosen homes to birds of prey. The original Smithsonian museum building called the "Castle" by the employees has several towers. The Castle in the mid last century was the main display for the museum's birds collection, both stuffed and live. Two owls had made one of the east towers their home. The birds could often be coaxed down from the tower with food and the Castle guest could always see them at certain hours of the day. The staff at the Smithsonian fed and cared for "Increase" and "Diffusion", so named for the organizational theme in 1977 until their passing. In their honor this year's tree features several owls ornaments. Very cute!
In photo Increase" and "Diffusion