Ask Lafeber


July 12, 2022

Is my baby Cockatiel a male or female?

I have a 2 ½ month old baby Lutino Cockatiel. It is beautiful and adorable! I’m dying to know if the personality behavior could be a possible clue to it’s sex. I understand a blood test would be the best way to find out if the bird is a boy or a girl. My baby Cockatiel is very outgoing, and is super friendly and sweet. It doesn’t fear anything! I can be vacuuming his cage or around it, it will not be afraid of it, on the contrary, it wants to come near.
I’m learning from a lot of reading that a male Cockatiel is more vocal and not shy. He gets super loud when I walk away and when I respond by whistling back in the effort to teach it to sing, he responds immediately, loudly and insistently. Since it still a baby, I’ve heard some gibberish sound and an attempt of whistling. Could my baby Cockatiel be a male? I named it Lemonchello because he’s of a beautiful yellow color. I’ve had him for a month now and he is molting his baby feathers. Could it’s colors also determine its sex? Also, If you want, I can send a photo.

Thank you🙏🏻


Hi Simone,

It sounds like you have a very sweet bird regardless of if it is male or female. There is no way to determine sex until 6 months old at the very earliest. A DNA test may not even be accurate on a baby cockatiel. They retain female markings until their first adult molt, which takes place anywhere from 6 months to a year old. While the bird may be losing some feathers now, they will continue to grow back with female colors at this age. This is nature’s way to protect them in the wild. If you look at the underside of his long wing feathers, you should see yellow markings, or pearls. Once he goes through the adult molt, if it is a male, those markings will not come back and the underneath side of the wing feathers will be the same color as the top. If it is a female, the pearl markings will be on the new feathers. So for now, you will just have to wait. Meanwhile, you might want to read our pages on behavior and training. By responding to him when he calls loudly to him, he is learning to be loud to get your attention. This will turn into loud, persistent calls which you and anyone else around will soon get tired of. He needs to learn to entertain himself and not always depend on you for attention or entertainment. When he calls out, it is best to ignore the call. Once he is quite, then you can reward him for being quiet. If you are working with him on talking, this is different. But when he calls out to get you to respond or give him attention, you really do not want to keep responding. Any attention is a win for him, so ignoring him is the best thing to do when he does something you do not like.

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Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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