When a motorist called the Scottish SPCA to report a dead parrot lying in the street, rescuers feared the worst.
So there was relief all round when the “casualty” turned out to be a colourful hat.
The bonnet is now in the care of the charity’s centre at Drumoak in Aberdeenshire, where the team are hoping to reunite it with its owner.
Animal rescue officer Karen Hogg said she was delighted that this particular call-out had a happy ending.
She raced to the scene after a woman spotted what she thought was an exotic bird lying on Great Western Road, near the Tesco Express store.
Ms Hogg said: “It’s fair to say the lady who called was mortified when I called her back to tell her it wasn’t actually a parrot.
“The hat has green holly which she assumed was the body and a red bobble sticking out which she thought was the parrot’s head.
“As the lady was driving at the time she wasn’t able to stop and get a good look so called to alert us.
“When I got there it was a nice surprise to find there wasn’t an animal in danger and I must admit it gave me a bit of Christmas cheer.
“The hat is now being safely looked after at our centre in Drumoak. If anyone recognises the hat they are welcome to come and collect it.”
And while the caller’s blushes matched the red bobble on the hat, Ms Hogg was keen to stress that she had done the right thing.
“Although this incident turned out to be a false alarm, we would always encourage people to give us a call if they think an animal is in need of help,” she added.
Anyone who finds an animal in danger or distress should call the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline on 03000 999 999.