So, I just wanted to hear your views on whether there is such a thing as a good first bird. Me, I don't really have an opinion on what makes a good "starter bird".
It all comes down to the individual. I think a macaw CAN make a good first bird, as long as the owner is well informed and has researched and researched until they know all there is they have to know about the species. Sure, I definitely don't think one should just go out and buy a large bird without knowing anything about the parrot they have ended up with. But if a person who has never owned a bird before studies up on parrots well before buying it, thinks through their decision to buy a bird home, asks themselves about their situation, asks themselves, "what will I be doing in 10 years" or if it is a larger parrot then your whole life, then it might just be the best decision you ever made.
These things should be considered before buying ANY bird home, not just a large parrot. Smaller parrots that seem to make good "starter" birds such as budgies, lovebirds and cockatiels are often abused and neglected because they are cheap and easy to maintain and the people think that because they are for beginners then they don't have to do any research on them.
Another issue is that people say you should build up to a larger species one step at a time. First they get a budgie, then they get a cockatiel, then they get a conure, then an african grey, then a cockatoo, then a macaw, and so on, and then they end up with a bunch of birds they didn't want and it will be louder and more expensive and take up more space. The birds may fight and be severely injured by larger birds if kept together. Also they might bond together instead of with you. Then what are you going to do with all these birds that you bought just to get the large parrot? Keep them? Sadly, many are put into rescues for this very same reason.
Another thing to consider is, assuming you keep one bird at a time, how long the birds live. Budgies live for abot 10-15 years, cockatiels for 10-20, some conures and senegals up to 40, african greys 50-60, macaws and cockatoos 60-80, but if kept well, some may even reach 100!
If you got the budgie just out of high school, then accquired the cockatiel and kept them both for 10 years for the budgie and and 20 for the cockatiel, and then a conure, and when the cockatiel dies you buy an african grey, and then when the conure lives out its lifespan, you buy a blue and gold macaw. You will be old and the parrot may well outlive you and you will have to arrange for someone to have it when you die; And if that bird was bonded to you, it will be very distressed when you die, and say you left it to your grandson who has no knowledge of birds. What if the bird attacks him?
If you are old, you will be better off buying an older bird if you don't want it to outlive you. But even then it will be harder to train.
Anyone have any opinions on this?