Hi, guys! First of all, let me introduce myself! My name is Mariana, but you can call me Mari! I'm 20 years old and I live in Brazil. English is not my mother language at all, so I apologize for any grammar mistakes that I WILL make! I live in an apartment in São Paulo and spend most of my day out. I leave to College at 7:30 am and come back from my job at 5:00 pm. There is no one home when I'm away, I don't have any pets either. So why I am here? Well, I really, really want a pet bird, but you already know that from the title. And no, this is not something new. I've been doing my research for some time now (maybe six months or more), and I was just waiting for the right time to buy/adopt a bird (and there is a "buy" in here only because it is ainda hard to find birds for adoption in Brazil - I know, weird... I really Don't know what happens to the birds that are not wanted anymore...). The time to get a bird is finally here... And I still Don't know what to do. Here is the thing: some people say there are "beginner's birds", others say there is no such thing, because each species is different, so what you really should do is research a lot about the one you want and be prepared for it. And I think I agree with the second group of people... I don't see how having a budgie will help if I'm planning on having a cockatoo three years from now... BUT no, I'm not saying that because I want to get a cockatoo (as I said, I'm doing my research.... I know cockatoos are a lot of work, require tremendous amount of human interaction - and I'm not home for too many hours - and are LOUD. I do not want a cockatoo, at least not now, probaly not in five years....). BUT I also agree that it's important to start with something smaller, that will make less mess and that has a smaller beak... so you can feel what is like to have a bird before comitting to the ones that are harder to keep... That aaaall being said... Which bird species is the right for me? Things to consider: - I live in an apartment. It's not that small, and I don't think sharing walls with my neighboors is such a big problem. In fact, one of my neighboors has an amazon, but surprisinly the bird is relatively quiet... But I Don't want to have any problems with them (or eventually have to give my bird away). - I'm not home for at least 10 hours a day... sometimes I get to go home for lunch, but not oftenly - I think it would be best to have a bird that is more independent. - I travel once a every 40 days for the weekend - can the bird come with me or should I find someone to stay with it? - I would rether have a bird that enjoys my company and likes to cuddle, or at least that lets me pet it a bit. - I would love to have a bird that talks - but I know we can't count on that. So... what do you recomend? Some species I've thought about are: green cheeked conures, red bellied conures, quakers, ring necks... I would love to have a sun conure, but people say they are too loud for an apartment... amazons are very interesting too, but I'm afraid they would be to loud or too much for a beginner (also, they seem to have behavior problems sometimes... I think it would be too much for me...) What do you guys think?