Last updated 12:58 14/05/2014
The Mitre 10 Mega morepork seems to have taken a liking to its large new home inside the Nelson store.
Earlier yesterday the store's marketing coordinator, Murray Leaning, was "happy to report" that the friendly native owl, which arrived and set up home on Monday, had left the building under its own steam, unharmed and happy.
Several hours later the update - dubbed Operation Wise Owl in deference to last week's Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot training exercise in Nelson - said the nocturnal bird had returned, apparently happy with its newfound roost in the rafters above the trade department.
"You'll be pleased to know that he's a homing owl," Leaning said yesterday afternoon. "He flew out the door, flew around for a while, and flew back in. He doesn't like the rain."
Leaning said the morepork turned up in the store on Monday morning, confounding staff and customers as it swooped low and silently above their heads.
"We couldn't believe it. We turned up at work to the news there was a morepork trapped inside," he said yesterday.
Staff reckoned the bird got into the building while chasing one of the sparrows that dine on crumbs from the outdoor seating area at the store's cafe. Small birds are part of a morepork's diet.