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Family creates home for screech owl hiding from frigid temps

JESUP, Iowa (CNN) -- An Iowa family went to their mailbox and found more than bills and letters inside. They found a small screech owl, shivering in below-zero temps. The family decided to offer better accommodations.

Autumn Rolison discovered the shivering owl in her mailbox several days ago.

"It was there for a couple days, when it was below zero temps. Of course I wanted to bring it in and whatever. And my husband's like leave it alone," Autumn Rolison said.

It stayed there for days. The family kept worrying about it out in the sub-zero temps.

"I feel so bad for the animals out and about in the winter. My oldest has such a tender heart. He's named it and everything. Like, 'Mom what are we going to do with this poor owl?'" Rolison said.

So they got to work.

Rolison called a friend who works for Buchanan County Conservation- who dropped off an owl shelter for their backyard.

They filled it with hay and made it a new, warm home.

She says although it has left, she hopes it will come back again.

"I hope that it's comfortable enough to come back and if we have to grab it out of the mailbox to get it used to going back there during the winter when it's cold, for it to know there's a place to go, that would be great," Rolison said.

Mailboxes are not a typical hiding spot for these small owls.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources-- eastern screech owls usually burrow in large hollow trees.

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