Note: This post was published on my WP blog previously, some of you may have already read it.
No, this post is probably not what you had in mind. It’s not always easy to tell the sex of your pet bird just by looking at them. In some species of birds, males and females look just the same. I’m going to tell you how to sex your bird. That is, differentiate between male and female. There are a few ways to do this, depending on the species of the bird. Here are a few examples.
Sexually Dimorphic Birds - How to Sex Your Bird Using Physical Differences
Sexual dimorphism is -
“Distinct difference in size or appearance between the sexes of an animal.”
Many birds are not sexually dimorphic, meaning that the male and female look the same and have no real physical differences as far as appearance is concerned. If your bird is not a sexually dimorphic species, then you will need to learn how to sex your bird by different means which I will list below. Here is a list of birds that have distinct differences between males and females.
Adult male parakeets and female parakeets can typically be identified by the color of their cere. A cere is the band just above a birds beak where their nostrils are found. A female’s cere is usually brown or tan. Sometimes, a female parakeet will have a slightly crusty cere.
Male parakeets have a blue cere. Although, it can be hard in some cases to tell the difference between the two because the ceres sometimes appear as a pinkish and bluish iridescent color.
|Female Parakeet vs. Male Parakeet|
Female cockatiels have a more striped appearance on their tail feathers, in general. They are also more quiet than male cockatiels. A male cockatiel is usually more vocal. These differences are just guidelines and are not a definite answer.
Other Sexually Dimorphic Birds
There’s the eclectus parrot, which is very easy to tell boy from girl. See for yourself in the pictures below.
|A female eclectus is red and blue/purple with a black beak. Photo via belgianchocolate|
|A male eclectus is mostly green with a bright “candy corn” beak.Photo via chriswsonic357|
Indian ringneck parakeets also look very different from male to female.
|A female Indian Ringneck parakeet has a very subtle ring around her neck as opposed to the male. Photo via Eric C Bryan|
Does Your Bird Lay Eggs?
Even if a female bird lives alone and does not have a mate, she can still lay eggs. If your bird lays an egg, or several, then it’s obvious that they are a girl. Simple enough! Some female birds may never lay an egg during their entire lifetime, which can leave you a long time guessing. Fortunately, there is another option on how to tell if your bird is a boy or girl.
This is actually the best way to identify the sex of your bird. It only takes a tiny amount of blood. Knowing if your bird is female or male can be helpful later on in their life if they are having reproductive problems. It can help you to discourage egg laying – an unwanted and potentially dangerous behavior for female birds. I’ll have to discuss that topic another day.Most bird owners who opted for DNA sexing were just curious to know. Others I’ve worked with had lived with their pet 15+ years and never really knew definitively what sex their bird was. Did you know how to sex your bird?