Holiday surprise as family finds live owl hiding in their Christmas tree

In Atlanta, Georgia, a family had a holiday surprise as they discovered a live owl hiding in their Christmas tree. On Thursday evening, as Katie McBride Newman and her two children had finished dinner, Katie’s daughter who had been in another room screamed, “Oh my gosh!”

India, 10, then ran towards her mother in tears and told her one of the decorations on the tree scared her. Ironically, on the tree were about a dozen owl ornaments, and at first Katie thought that had been what scared her daughter. Now get this and imagine how you would feel -Katie had been examining the ornaments when one turned its head and looked straight at her.


The family had purchased the tree right after Thanksgiving and at first thought the owl had flown indoors and hid herself in the tree. That night the windows were left open hoping the owl would fly away, – apparently the owl was quite comfortable.

The next step was to call Chattahoochee Nature Center. An employee told the family to leave some raw chicken for the owl, but when she didn’t eat much for a few days, the family grew concerned. The Eastern screech owl is common in Georgia and when an employee arrived at the home to check the owl for injuries, it was pretty reasonable to assume the skinny owl had been in the Christmas tree since they purchased it and she needed assistance.

Check out the video:

Posted by Katie McBride Newman on Saturday, December 14, 2019

He’s OK!!!! (The owl AND Billy!)
He’s a little lean (the owl AND Billy)
but no sign of injury (same). The AMAZING Wildlife Tech from CNC gave him fluids and food (just the owl) and put him in a crate with 2 mice (again, just the owl). We are going to try to release him at twilight (again, just the🦉, I’m keeping Billy Newman forever ❤️) and will post our final (we hope) update to let you know if he takes to freedom!
We owe so much thanks to the Chattahoochee Nature Center Wildlife team – truly good samaritans who saved our Christmas Owl – please support them.”

And on Saturday evening the family left the crate open outside. Just hours later, the owl had disappeared.

“The Final Chapter: Bye bye, birdie.
Thank you for the honor you bestowed on our family – for making the magic & mystery of advent come alive in our home, and for inspiring connection among all who followed the adventure.
God’s peace to you as you make your new home outside our home. We hope to see you again. . . And to all a good night 🌟”

To donate to the Chattahoochee Nature Center, please click here.

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