This owl hid in a family’s Christmas tree for four days before being discovered

DW News/Simplemost

A Lexington, Kentucky family got a little more than they paid for when they brought home their Christmas tree this year. Nestled in its branches was an Eastern screech owl — who’d been stowed away in the boughs for four days before being discovered.

Michele White told the Associated Press that her family brings home a Christmas tree every year and at first they didn’t notice anything unusual.

“I have three dogs,” White said. “We use this room nonstop: watch TV; the kitchen’s right here; no indication.”

MORE: Can you find the owl with the distinctive sweater in this tricky puzzle?

It wasn’t until Bobby Hayes, owner of Magic Carpet Cleaning, was at the family’s house four days after they brought home their tree. Hayes noticed the tree was swaying a bit and then discovered the owl sitting on a lower limb of the tree, he told AP.

“It crawled up into the tree further,” Hayes told AP. “It took me several minutes to even find it.”

owl in gloved hand in front of christmas tree
DW News/Bobby Hayes

This isn’t the first time a Christmas tree has contained a secret stowaway. In 2019, a family in Georgia discovered an owl in their tree that they believe had been there for a week. And in 2020, a worker transporting the famous and iconic Rockefeller Christmas tree discovered a tiny owl hiding in the big tree’s branches. The owl hitched a ride 170 miles from Oneonta, New York all the way to the Big Apple!

Fortunately, these stories end with the birds being released safely back into the wild where they belong, and the Kentucky owl is no different.

Hayes was able to safely capture the bird and release it into the White’s backyard, reported IFL Science.

“Everybody’s going to be able to have a merry Christmas now,” Hayes told AP.

MORE: Look for this growth on your Christmas tree before you bring it inside

Animals, Holiday & Seasonal, News, Wild Animals
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About the Author
Taylor Kuether
Taylor Kuether is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years’ experience writing and editing content, designing and implementing digital strategy, leading teams and executing production. She's written for The Washington Post, National Geographic, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times and more.

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