So you are considering a bird for a family pet? That is wonderful! Birds can be one of the best human companions, if raised and taken care of correctly they can be extremely affectionate, intelligent, fun and absolutely lovable.
Having said that, there are many things to consider before you can be 100% sure that a bird is right for you. Below is information on what will be required/expected of you to be an appropriate and successful bird owner.
First and foremost, noise will be a factor with a bird no matter what. Time and time again I come across people who want to return birds because they are ''too noisy''. If you are under the impression that there is such thing as a silent bird, then you are mistaken.
All birds make sound. That is in their nature. The volume level, pitch and frequency is what differs from species to species. For example; a Sun Conure, although extremely beautiful and desirable, lets out a high pitched and loud screech usually a few times per minute. Because of this, Sun Conures are usually not appropriate for people living in apartments, or those who feel that noise would be an issue for them.
On the other end of the spectrum is a Cockatiel, also a beautiful bird but, for the most part, one of the quietest birds of its size range. Although a cockatiel is generally considered 'quiet' for a small-medium sized bird, they still chirp and make regular bird sounds regularly. But the volume level and pitch is must less than a sun conure. Also note that Male cockatiels will whistle. Females will not.
Many people find the small chirping sounds of birds to be both beautiful and comforting. Others find it annoying and frustrating. So always first consider noise as a factor when choosing the species of bird that will be suitable for you, your family and your home.
Birds can surprise first time bird owners with the seemingly impossible amount of mess they sometimes can produce. Again, this differs depending on size and species of bird but applies to all birds to a degree.
Aside from the obvious regular cleaning of the inside of the cage, changing out the tray and occasionally cleaning bird poop of clothing and furniture. You will often find plenty of your birds food on the floor surrounding its cage. There are seed guards and other similar products for sale to help.