Originally Posted by dcstep
Yes, getting any bird young is a key, or knowing that you like the personality of the bird. If you buy at a store, then you need to pick one with the personality that you like. Breeders that do it for fun tend to have consistent birds. Basically you want a bird that likes people, is confident and doesn't bite or scream. ALL birds require some amount of interaction and attention, either with a human or another bird.
This male in my image, Stormy, will scream constantly if he gets out of sight of his mate, Scooby. We're a little worried about what'll happen if Scooby dies before he does. She can live without him, but he'd be a wreck without her. Hopefully that won't be a worry soon, since these birds live around 25-years.
If I ever work up the courage to try a large bird again, I'll get a male and female. Your right, these birds are very companion oriented, and I'm sure it was upsetting to Nigel when no one would be around for 5-6 hours a day, and then suddenly there was activety in the house. He always had his wings clipped so I could let him out and wander around, he had a rolling perch to so he could sit outside and get hosed down or just enjoy the weather.
Though the blue and gold macaw was more adventurous. I called him Captain Morgan, and he once, despite his wings being clipped, managed to fly several streets away. You can imagine the homeowners concern when a giant blue and gold bird landed screeching in his backyard.