NEWNAN, Ga. (WTHR) — A family found a holiday surprise last week after discovering an owl that made its home in their Christmas tree.
Katie McBride Newman posted about the owl on Facebook, saying her daughter found it — thinking it was an ornament — and nearly fainted when she realized it was real.
Newman told CNN she likes owls — so much, in fact, that there were about a dozen owl ornaments on the tree. So when her daughter told her one of the owl ornaments scared her, she went to check it out.
"And I'm like, 'Oh, that's a real owl,'" Newman told CNN.
The family tried to get the owl back into its natural habitat, calling a wildlife expert from the Chattahoochee Nature Center for tips on how to get it out of their home.
The experts said based on the owl's thin size, it may have been hiding in the tree since the family bought it a couple days after Thanksgiving. Other than the owl being thin, it seemed to be in pretty good health and uninjured. The family fed it raw chicken and gave it water while waiting on an expert to come help.
Eventually, they were able to box the owl up and release it into the wild. Two days after finding the bird, it was back in its natural habitat.
Newman said she swears she can still hear the owl hooting at night.