Perhaps it was the startled look on its face. Or maybe the fact it was frozen with fear.
But when an RSPCA officer was called out to investigate an owl that had been perched on a telegraph pole for days, she was so concerned she called the fire brigade.
It was only as a crew were about to deploy their aerial platform ladder to pluck the poor bird to safety that residents realised what was happening and rushed over to tell them it was a plastic decoy.
Homeowners living near the telegraph pole in Rayleigh, Essex, were having a hoot yesterday as they described how the animal charity and Essex Fire Service wasted their time.
Receptionist Carolyn Dyerson, 43, said: 'I couldn't believe my eyes. The woman from the RSPCA had been sitting outside for two hours, watching it.
'She thought it was real and had even brought a net with her to catch it. I felt like telling her it hadn't moved in three weeks.'
Mrs Dyerson added the owl was put on the pole by telecoms firm BT after neighbours complained about birds perching on lines and leaving mess on cars.
The plastic bird of prey was supposed to act as a deterrent by scaring off the smaller birds.
Another resident said: 'If they'd bothered looking properly they'd have spotted a branch growing out of the top of the pole.