A couple hired a cherry picker to rescue a Harris hawk trapped upside down by its ankles in a tree.
The female hawk was spotted 34ft (10m) up in a dead tree at the Dovercourt Caravan Park by a security guard.
The guard called Katrina Myers, who runs Colchester Owl Rescue in Rowhedge, asking her to come and help.
But because Mrs Myers was not tall enough to reach the bird from the cherry picker, her husband Dave - who is scared of heights - went up instead.
And as he made his way up to the hawk his mobile telephone rang. Mr Myers' ring tone is the Mission Impossible theme tune.
Mrs Myers said after repeated attempts to reach the hawk, Mr Myers managed to take hold of the bird.
"It knew it was going to be handled," said Mrs Myers, "and it freaked out.
"As soon as my husband got it wrapped up, she went ballistic."
The hawk suffered grazes but no broken bones.
Mrs Myers is now hoping to reunite the hawk with its rightful owner.
It is not clear whether it had previously been used as a pest control or breeding bird.