Two workers from Nova Scotia Power became unexpected heroes when they helped pluck a cockatiel out of a tree after the bird escaped from his home.

The elaborate operation began Wednesday, when Dexter — the cockatiel — got away.

"One of my cats scared him out the door, and I took off running up the street in my bare feet across the neighbours' yards and everything," said his owner, Tammy Carter.

Dexter then landed on the highest tree in the area. Carter couldn't reach him with a ladder. She even asked a logging truck passing by for help.

Carter was worried her tropical bird would freeze in the cold temperature, so she made one last ditch attempt to save her pet, and called Nova Scotia Power.

"The call centre took the call and determined there were some crew in the area that could see if this customer could be assisted," said Neera Ritcey, a a spokeswoman for the utility.

Help arrives

Two linesmen arrived, and they tried several times to grab Dexter with no luck. Finally, after six hours, Carter was allowed to try to save her pet.

"They parked the truck as close to the tree as we could get," she said. The linesmen gave her a lesson on safety and strapped her into a harness.

"The second time, I just kind of pulled the tree towards me and he hopped on my arm and crawled up my shoulder," she said.

Dexter is now home, back in his cage filled with toys.

Ritcey said the utility rarely doubles as an animal rescue service.

"Of course we don't have the resources to help each and every one of those customers fulfil those requests. This one, it was quite clear that it was the last resort."

With files from Angela MacIvor