I would have to put my vote clearly on Timneh Greys. I have had a number of birds, (cockatiels, budgies, maroon- bellied conures, eastern rosellas) over the years and I found it it really doesn't matter what you go with, the care level is going to be the same regardless. You still have to clean cages, prep food, change water and give them quality human interaction time. The key is never buy the bird on the first trip out. Go back and check it out regularly and note your intentions that you plan on buying a specific animal. Then it is best to visit the bird as often as you can so that it will come recognize you and trust you.
When we got our Timneh, from the time that the decision to buy to the time he was actually brought home was almost three months. During that time regular visits were made and a small in-store class was attended for 6 weeks. During this class session, everything from housing, to feeding, suitable toys, dealing with injuries, hygiene, and human interaction were all discussed.
At first I found this approach of "you must take the course before you take the bird" to be just a little anal as I had kept birds before. But in retrospect I feel that it was the best thing we could have done to improve the knowledge base and has paid off in spades ever since. This was through a small petstore here in Ottawa that actually cares about where there birds are going. If you have the chance to attend such a class it is definitely worth while. You may also want to check with your local bird clubs for some sort of program along thses lines. For those in Ottawa, I will give the store a shameless plug..it is Critter Jungle in the Hampton Park Plaza...thanks Jeff and Colleen, I couldn't have asked for a better experience
Stay away from the chain petstores..I have found that their only motivating factor is a quick sell, and I don't care who is supposed to be the "bird expert", anyone who gets minimum wage and is motivated by a commission is bound to tell you anything you want to hear. Did that person go the extra mile to get the fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis? Did that person spend additional time (not paid) caring for babies? Did that person clearly make themselves available after store hours to assist in making your new ownership more rewarding? At minimum wage..... not likely.
Just like in any other department in a chain store they are bound to operational budgets and the animals will only get the minimum care to maintain the bottom line.
Agreed birds Macaws and Cockatoos are beautiful animals but both require a high level of human attention and can become a problem down stream if not given that quality human time.
My guy has been with us for two years now and is so well adjusted because of the approach we took to the buying/education process. We can safely leave him alone all day long and he will play with his toys, look out the window and whistle at anyone who goes by, chow down on goodies. He has a strong vocabulary and can respond to given situations. He is fully flighted and can clearly manouver around. Frankly he never goes in his cage anymore expect to get some water and dry food. Otherwise he has his favourite spots and does not destroy anything. Some may consider this to be irresponsible, we don't as he is so well adjusted and understands the whole mom/dad away from work, home from work routine..
All I have to do is say "Gotta go to work Buddy" and Buddy the timneh will fly to his cage and settle in for the day. Some days he reminds me "Daaaddddyy, Gotta go to work...gotta go to work,... NOW!" If he is hungry.."supper? supper?" or If he is thirsty.... water? water?...and of course your Timneh grey experience would not be complete without the bird rummaging around in your plate at supper time..
He has his moments, but that will be the same with any bird. Vocal in the morning and early evening, sometimes the incessant vocalization, sometimes the attitude...but it all comes down to the total package of owning a bird. Once adjusted though you won't find a more entertaining friend to join the family..
Hope this helps