Much to the surprise of one Georgia family, their Christmas tree came with a BOGO bird perched in its branches this year.
Last week, Katie McBride Newman, an attorney in Newnan, Georgia, discovered a live owl nestled within their holiday evergreen. The mother of two told CNN that she was already a fan of the birds — noting that she had several owl ornaments adorning the tree — so the special guest was a welcomed surprise to the family.
“No joke, we just found a LIVE owl roosting in our Christmas tree. What?!?!?” Newman wrote on Facebook upon the discovery on Dec. 12. Later that night, the mom shared a video of the perched owl, explaining that they were devising a way to cajole the bird out of their home.
“We are preparing to gently encourage the owl to return to its natural environment …. but first, look how cool he is!! (Sorry for low [light], but he likes the dark better!),” she captioned the video.
As the family attempted to retrieve the owl after closing all interior doors and turning off all the lights, they were shocked when the animal was no longer in its tree branch resting place.
“[We] came to initiate owl removal — and he was NO WHERE to be found. Gulp,” Newman wrote on Facebook, keeping her followers updated on the wild scenario. “So we opened the double doors by the tree wide and went to bed.”
Hours later, they noticed the bird sitting atop the star-shaped Christmas tree topper. The next morning, the family thought their wild guest had gone until Newman’s daughter spotted the bird back in the tree, prompting them to contact animal control.
Newman — who in one social media post called the bird their “Christmas Owl of Joy” — soon watched as animal authorities arrived to contain and examine the owl on Saturday.
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Newman’s next update reported that the owl was healthy and on its way back to its natural habitat — all while poking fun at her husband, Billy Newman, and his way of handling the owl surprise.
“He’s OK!!!! (The owl AND Billy!) He’s a little lean (the owl AND Billy) but no sign of injury (same),” she wrote. “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 ❤️). …”
For her last post on the event, the mom reflected on the uniqueness of the holiday wonder, thanking the owl for gracing them with its presence.
“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,” she wrote on Facebook. “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 🌟”
According to CNN, the bird is an Eastern screech owl that may have been posted up in the evergreen since the family purchased the Christmas tree a few days after Thanksgiving.