Christmas Owl

Katie Newman and her family found a holiday surprise hiding in their Christmas tree.

The Chattahoochee Nature Center stepped in to help a Newnan family after they found a live owl in their Christmas tree.

“No joke, we just found a LIVE owl roosting in our Christmas tree,” Katie Newman wrote in Facebook. “What?!?!?”

Newman said her 10-year-old daughter India spotted the Eastern Screech Owl squatting in the tree among other ornaments, many of which Newman said were owl ornaments. When the “ornament” turned its head to watch Newman’s daughter, they knew something was off.

Newman documented her owl story on Facebook as she and her family tried to get the owl outside by opening windows and shoo-ing it. When that didn’t work, she called the Department of Natural Resources for help, who put her in touch with Chattahoochee Nature Center.

“She called us and I just happened to be driving past Newnan the next morning on my way to Auburn,” CNC wildlife technician Dawn Ellerman said. “I told her I would try and catch it and do an exam. If it needed immediate care she would take it to a rehabber.”

In the meantime, Ellerman told the Newmans to give the owl some raw chicken, since she suspected the bird had not had food since the family bought the tree.

Ellerman made it to the house, where she caught and examined the creature, and said it looked healthy. She was able to tell Newman how to release the tiny owl back into the wild. The Newmans left the bird in a darkened crate in a dark room, then moved the darkened crate outside that night.

The owl disappeared, but Newman told CNN she can still hear the owl at night.

“We owe so much thanks to the Chattahoochee Nature Center Wildlife team,” Newman said. “Truly good Samaritans who saved our Christmas Owl.”

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