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Family Shocked To Find An Owl Living In Their Christmas Tree

Emily Brown


Georgia Family Shocked To Find An Owl Living In Their Christmas TreeKatie McBride Newman/Facebook

A family in America got a very unexpected Christmas surprise when they found a real life owl living in among their tree ornaments. 

Some people spend hundreds on baubles and lights to make their tree look its best for the festive season, but if you ask me nothing’s more authentic than having an actual woodland creature live among the branches.


Admittedly it sounds like a situation more fitting for a Disney film than real life, but the Newman family, from Georgia, would beg to differ.

You can see more about the amusing ordeal below:


The family discovered their little visitor earlier this month, when Katie McBride Newman and her two children, India and Jack, were finishing up at the dinner table.


India, 10, had gone into another room when her mother heard her exclaim: ‘Oh my gosh!’

Owl found nestled in branches of family's Christmas treeKatie McBride Newman/Facebook

The mum told CNN the stunned youngster burst ‘dramatically’ back into the dining room before revealing she’d been ‘scared’ by an ornament.

India was so startled by what she’d seen she started to cry, though at first Katie believed the 10-year-old was overreacting.


As a fan of owls, the mum had adorned her Christmas tree with about a dozen ornaments depicting the woodland creatures. What she didn’t know, however, was that there was a living, breathing owl hanging out on the tree alongside its decorative friends.

Owl found nestled in branches of family's Christmas treeKatie McBride Newman/Facebook

Katie went to investigate and was shocked to see one of her ornaments turn and look at her.

It probably would have been terrifying if the animal wasn’t so tiny, and the mum simply responded: ‘Oh, that’s a real owl’.


It’s unclear exactly when the owl made its home in the tree, but it’s possible it could have been living quietly in the home for over a week, as the family purchased the tree from a store in early December.

The homeowners left their windows and doors open in an attempt to set their little guest free, but it apparently had no burning desire to re-enter the wild, so the following day they called the Chattahoochee Nature Center, a non-profit environmental centre, for assistance.

An employee told the family to leave some raw chicken out to feed the owl and keep it happy until a member of staff could get to the house.


A spokesperson for the nature centre, Jon Copsey, told CNN an employee was able to catch the bird and identify it as an Eastern screech owl, which are common in the Georgia area.

The Final Chapter: Bye bye, birdie. Thank you for the honor you bestowed on our family – for making the magic &…

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

The worker checked the animal for injuries and gave it some food and nutritional supplements. The owl was described as being ‘pretty thin’, indicating it could have been living in the tree since the family first bought it.

The Newman family were instructed to leave the bird in a crate in a darkened room and release it after dark. The little creature successfully ventured out on its own but Katie is convinced she can sometimes still hear it, hooting away.

The family better double check their ornaments next time!

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Animals, Christmas, Christmas Tree, Georgia, wildlife


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    A Georgia family found an owl hiding in their Christmas tree

  2. Katie McBride Newman/Facebook


Emily Brown
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