, Salem, MA

Local News

August 15, 2013

Pet parrot flies the coop

BEVERLY — Last year, it was Zeke the turtle. This time, it’s PeeWee the parrot.

A year after the saga of the wayward Zeke gripped Ryal Side, the neighborhood is once again on the lookout for a missing exotic animal.

PeeWee, a cherry-headed conure whose screech is loud enough to break glass, escaped from his home on Hillside Avenue on Aug. 5.

Owner Bonnie Michalowski and her husband, Don Talbot, have put up posters around Ryal Side, contacted police and taken out an ad in the newspaper. Michalowski took a day off from work to look for him.

The couple has had PeeWee for 19 years, longer than they’ve had their 12-year-old daughter, Merrick.

“It’s quite traumatic for my husband and I to lose him, because he’s been part of the family for so long,” Michalowski said. “It’s hard not to have him around. We’ve been pounding the pavement looking for this guy.”

Last August, Zeke the turtle walked out of his home on Western Avenue only to be found a month later by a neighbor. In this case, Michalowski said PeeWee apparently got loose when he bumped into the screen door while flying around the room.

The door popped open, and PeeWee, who hadn’t been outdoors since Talbot bought him at Liberty Tree Mall in 1994, was free as a, well, bird.

Michalowski blames herself, not PeeWee.

“I didn’t trim his wings,” she said. “I kept putting it off. It’s my fault, totally.”

Cherry-headed conures like PeeWee are native to Ecuador and Peru and have green feathers with a splash of red on their faces and heads.

The green feathers make it hard to spot PeeWee in a tree, but Michalowski said there have been possible sightings. A Bridge Street resident said a green parrot landed on a table in his backyard. By the time Michalowski and Talbot got there, however, the bird was gone.

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