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Police in Scotland, UK, were called upon Tuesday to apprehend a most unusual holiday gatecrasher — a hawk in a Christmas tree.
“Definitely a change from a partridge on a pear tree,” joked the North East Police Division in a Facebook post chronicling the incident.
Louise Anderson of Ellon, Aberdeenshire, told the BBC that the sparrowhawk had entered the dwelling by flying through the back door after she let her dogs out.
The “spectacular bird” then proceeded to sit calmly atop Anderson’s Christmas tree for 40 minutes, per her account.
While the fun-sized featherbag didn’t display any aggression, the homeowner said she “was concerned for its safety so phoned for help.”
The police enlisted the North East Wildlife and Animal Rescue Centre (NEW ARC) to help them remove the “unusual decoration.”
NEW ARC joked on their Facebook page that they were able to aid “the police this afternoon when they apprehended an intruder suspected of stealing X-Mas fairies.”
The sparrowhawk was subsequently set loose into the wild without incident.
“After a full body search she was released without charge,” joked NEW ARC.
This isn’t the first time a bird of prey has used a Christmas tree as a roost. Last December, a Georgia family discovered a live Eastern screech owl camouflaged among the fake hooter ornaments adorning their Yule boughs.
In the most famous incident last month, an adorable saw-whet was found nestled among the branches of the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce at Rockefeller Center.
It has since been released back into the wild.
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