Misty the macaw charms neighborhood
by Jeremy Boulier, SJVT Staff
Aug 08, 2012 | 857 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
- Contributed photo
- Contributed photo
slideshow
Aug. 8 edition - ALLAGASH - Cheril Turner from Allagash is no stranger to animals; she owns four birds and two dogs. Lately one of her birds, a green-winged macaw named Misty, has become a local celebrity.

Eleven years ago Turner wanted to get a green-winged macaw of her own but none of the pet shops nearby carried this particular breed, so Turner expanded her search to the entire U.S. and finally found a store that sold them - in Indianapolis, Ind. She purchased the bird when it was just seven days old, and has cared for it ever since.

Growing up, Misty came to favor the cereal Lucky Charms and learned a variety of tricks, Turner said, such as counting to five, catching a hacky-sack in both her beak and claws, and high-fiving. According to Turner, macaws have the mentality of a 3-year-old child and can be taught most of what a child at that age can learn.

Turner said that macaws actually learn the context and grammar of words and phrases and it is not just a mimic, a popular misconception. For instance, Misty has learned to call one of Turner’s dogs by three different names. Also, when she sees someone with food, she asks, “May I have some?” After eating, Misty will have one of Turner’s dogs clean her beak and also has been known to wave and say hello to cars while traveling with Turner.