Ask Lafeber

Question:

August 20, 2018

How can I figure out the sex of my parakeets


I got my parakeets at the middle of last month and I wanted to know how to tell their sexes even though I looked it up sites are always saying different things.


Answer:

Hi Juliet,

If these are young birds, it can be very hard to tell. Even with adult parakeets, it can be difficult to determine their sex these days because of the many color mutations. In general, a male will have a solid lavender to solid blue cere – this is the skin around their nostrils. A female will have a white to brown cere, depending on hormones and age. Generally the cere color is not well defined until they are close to a year old. In some mutations, especially the pastel type colors, the cere may remain lavender on both sexes.

Behavior can also help you figure out their sexes. The females are not as vocal as far as trying to talk and tend to stick to one call, often sounding like she is fussing at you. She is generally not as tame and can be somewhat nippy, to plain biting you. She might use her beak to box with your finger and will bully other birds in the cage. The males are generally tamer and will be more likely to try to talk. They generally try out many different sounds. They are much less likely to bite and are much more friendly. Of course these are generalizations and not rules, much like the cere color.

So basically, unless it lays an egg, sex can be much more difficult to determine than you may have read. All I can suggest is that you continue to observe their cere color and behavior and as they get a bit older their sexes may become more clear.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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