The Newman family from Newnan, Georgia, got quite the festive surprise when they found an eastern screech owl in their Christmas tree on Thursday, December 12.
Katie Newman, who recorded the footage, told the Newnan Times-Herald that she believed the owl had been in her house since the previous day, but she didn’t know how it managed to get in.
Newman’s son, Jack, and her daughter, India, were the first to spot the feathered visitor. Newman told Storyful that the family’s tree actually has several owl decorations so her daughter was quite surprised when one of them started moving.
Newman’s husband, Billy, said, “India walked by the Christmas tree and was freaked out [she] said, “That ornament scared me, it looked like it moved!”"
According to CNN, the family called the Chattahoochee Nature Center, a non-profit organization which is near their home. The organization advised the family to bring the owl some food as it may not have eaten. When representatives of the center got to the home they identified the species of owl and they provided the bird with some nutrition and checked it for injuries.
It was reported to be quite thin, indicating that it may have been in the house since the Newmans bought the tree on November 30.
The family was instructed to leave the bird in an open crate in a darkened room and to release it after sundown. The owl had left by 9.30pm on Saturday evening.
A spokesman for the center, Jon Copsey, said the family did everything right in this situation. Credit: Kathleen Gail McBride via Storyful