Know What You Want and Buy Accordingly Small Birds for Watching - The smaller the bird the less it likes to be handled. Finches are perfect examples of birds that will live comfortably in their cages and let you enjoy many hours of watching their antics. The zebra and society finches are pretty and very active. Some of the brighter colored finches are the Lady Gouldian, cordon blues and the strawberry finch. Give them a roomy cage with plenty of perches and let them entertain you. Birds That Sing - Among the most notorious singers in the bird world are the canaries. They are also a beautiful bird that doesn't have to be handled. Popular colors in the canaries are red, yellow and white with some mixes. There are also green canaries which are thought to be the original wild canary. Canaries warble a melody that can range from loud to soft. Male canaries are generally the best singers but occasionally a hen will have singing talent. Birds That Talk - This category covers both small and large species. The smallest talker is the parakeet. They need to purchased young and taught to talk by repetition. The cockatiel is the next popular bird that can have a limited vocabulary and any of the conures can learn repeated words and phrases. Parrots, of course, are the most noted talkers and most will pick up phrases on their own. The African grey parrot can have an extensive word and noise base. They are smaller and not as bright colored as the Amazons and macaws. Birds to Handle - Lovebirds, cockatiels, conures and especially parrots like to interact with their owners. They enjoy spending time outside the cage and even riding around on your shoulder. Almost all can be taught to do tricks with the bigger parrots learning more rapidly. Parrots can even be potty trained to avoid messes when they are outside their cages. Breeding Birds - If you have an outlet for your baby birds breeding is a nice hobby. The easiest ones to start with are the finches and doves. They take well to confined cage breeding. The lovebirds, conures , cockatiels and parakeets will also hatch and raise their young. Do your research because each species requires different nest boxes and handling procedures. Parrots will breed if they are in a large cage and not disturbed but rarely rear their own young in captivity. Baby parrots make better pets if they are taken from their parents and hand-fed. Where to Start - After you have decided what species of bird will best fit your lifestyle you might consider a trip to a pet shop that sells birds. Talk to the clerk, ask questions about feed, longevity, noise level and specific problems. Check your local newspaper for ads for birds for sale. Sometimes that will yield a bargain but include in your questioning the age of the bird. Small birds don't have a very long life span. Big birds can outlive their owners.