By Tim Binnall
A family in Georgia found that they had an unexpected guest in their home this holiday season when they discovered an owl that had been living in their Christmas tree. The avian visitor reportedly came to light last Thursday when Katie McBride Newman's daughter came running into their dining room and declared "that ornament scared me" before bursting into tears. Ironically enough, their tree already happened to have several owl-themed decorations on the tree and so the mom initially thought that the youngster's consternation was simply a bit of confusion.
However, Newman was swiftly surprised when she took a closer look at what she thought was the offending ornament and it turned to look at her! "And I'm like, 'Oh, that's a real owl,'" she recalled. Since there seemed to be no other explanation for how the bird wound up in their home, the family suspects that it came with the tree, which they bought on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Amazingly, that would mean that the owl had been lurking in the Christmas tree for nearly two weeks before anyone noticed that it was there.
Now faced with the challenge of how to help the owl find its way back to the wilderness, the family first left all their doors and windows open overnight in the hopes that the bird would fly away. Alas, it would seem that it had taken a liking to the domesticated life as it was still there when they woke up the next morning. Fortunately, a worker from a local wildlife center came to their home a few days later and captured the owl. Bolstering the theory that the bird had come with the tree, the creature was noticeably thin when it was caught, but has since been provided with a well-deserved meal for its troubles.