I am forwarding a response by Phoebe Linden.
Thanks a lot for joining the discussion forum at WPT and for introducing us to your new macaw friend.
First, congratulations on adopting a parrot who needs a home—that’s a wonderful thing to do for both you and the macaw.
Next, I like your idea of going over to the macaw’s existing home and visiting her so that she becomes accustomed to you. You will get a good idea of how she responds to her current caregiver and you during those visits. Be sure to take her favorite treats, probably nuts, and use them to charm her. Don’t be surprised if everyone decides that two weeks of visits are too much—together, you may decide to move her to new surroundings as soon as everyone is ready.
Speaking of surroundings, the environments you’ll provide are key to everyone’s future happiness and success. It’s terrific that you have experience with your grey who will also be part of the transition team, and who also might want some new stuff, but be prepared to scale everything up in size for the macaw, including perches, (her feet are sooo much bigger) bowls, (she won’t be able to get that huge beak inside a little bowl) cages, (one for day, one for night, perhaps?) play areas (she’ll cover more ground than your grey does.) and your time.
Transition is greatly eased when there are plenty of places where parrots can hang out, goof off, eat, nap, sleep and watch each other. It’s not a matter of 1 + 1 = 2! Once your new macaw comes home, it will be more like 1 + 1 = 4! I’m so glad you’re getting prepared! The more space you can design and equip to give her safe choices while active, and secure rest when tired, the better everyone’s lives will be. Think like a macaw—really look at the places she’ll go in your house and see them from her point of view, then make adjustments.
So, think of creating environments that you 3 will share. Keep everything flexible because you’ll notice that adjustments need to be made, so keep watching and tweaking spaces as needed.
During your observations of her, you’ll notice what she likes to touch with her beak. Pay special attention to objects, materials and toys that she likes to “preen” (like rattan, grape vines and palm fronds) or tasks she stays with for a good amount of time (like getting nuts out of their shells or throwing toys out of a basket) because these are what you’ll use in abundance to give her alternatives to feather destruction. These enrichments plus time out of the cage will go a long way to giving her outlets for nervous and/or repetitive behaviors.
Be sure to have nuts on hand, too—walnuts and almonds especially. You may have to crack them for her until she learns how to do it. You’ll both be learners during this process!
All the best, Kevin. Be sure to write WPT again if more questions arise.
Phoebe Greene Linden