Originally Posted by PicOlio
If you do NOT have neighbors sharing a wall with you, DO have plenty of room for huge cages and perches throughout and DO have a LOT of time to spend with the birds...they can actually be obtained for low amounts of cash. They're still expensive to care for correctly but not as bad as many people think.
It's true that rescues are jam packed. BUT for a first time bird owner, I wouldn't recommend taking just any macaw from a rescue. There are degrees of behavior issues and macaws just like greys and toos are very sensitive to their environment.
A lot of times, first time bird owners are talked into getting a big bird from a rescue only to get home to bird they cannot handle. And then there goes the bird back to another rescue, further destroying him/her. I'm not saying that people shouldn't save a bird and adopt from a rescue, quite the opposite. I just think that first time bird owners need to pick a bird that they will be able to handle. Macaws are very intimidating to some people, which can make behavior modification difficult.
There are tons of birds out there that need homes, but I would say that they will need some *help* in deciding if a particular bird will fit with them and their family as far as the birds needs go. While the prices might be better, that should never be one of the reasons when you are considering such a HUGE commitment as a macaw. And believe me they are a huge commitment. It's literally like having a toddler around.
And like Deb said, cages are expensive. We paid $1200 for just his cage... he will need a new one in a couple of years. We would love a stainless steal cage but at $5000 a pop, it won't be happening anytime soon. Then you have to pay for food, toys, playstands, vet stuff (expensive for any kind of exotic), etc. I spend at least $50 a month in toys and that's with me making Toby's toys. If I didn't make his toys, it would easily be $100 a month. And yes, babies are expensive.... but to me Toby was worth every penny.
**Editing to say**
I just wanted to mention that I don't think birds are priced outrageously. If birds were cheap, can you imagine how the resuces would look then?!? At least with the prices of the big birds, the initial costs do steer some impulse buyers away. And they are exotics. Some birds are harder to breed. Which is why a Hyacinth macaw can cost anywhere from $7500 - to $20,000. Budgies, lovebirds, tiels, etc. are MUCH easier to breed and are a dime a dozen.