Welcome back to my series on parakeets! If you missed the other posts in this series, click here to learn how to befriend your parakeet and here for how to train your bird to do tricks. If you’re enjoying this series, be sure to click the like button and comment what your favorite article of this series is so far.
When you buy any pet, the first thing you do is name it. Well, that’s kinda hard to do unless you know their gender! When I got my first parakeets from a family that could no longer keep them, they told me inaccurately that both of their birds were girls. Thus, my two male parakeets were named Lucy and Ethel (from the show I Love Lucy). I want to help you avoid that mistake, so if you’re in doubt then keep reading.
Disclaimer: Your bird needs to be at least one year old to really know what gender they are, because if they’re younger they won’t be sexually mature.
Unlike many kinds of birds, you cannot tell the gender of a parakeet from the color of their feathers. Budgies have been bred to have vivid plumage no matter their gender, so the easiest way to tell a parakeet’s gender right away is the color of their cere.
The cere is the area surrounding the bird’s nostrils, and it will be blue if your bird is male and tan colored if female. There are exceptions to this rule, but the cere is a good general guideline. If your parakeet has a mixed-colored cere, like blue with tan dots, then you should observe their behavior to discern the gender.
Observing behavior is how I determined the actual gender of my bird. (My bird Lucy died before I ever found out he was a male, but when I rescued a female parakeet to provide Ethel company, I discovered from his behavior that Ethel was actually male and renamed him Captain America. I know the history of my birds is confusing, but I’ll lay out all of the details in a later post this series.) It will be difficult to determine the gender from the behavior of a single bird, so if you have a bird you know is definitely female then the process will be much easier. If you have a female with the other girl, they will be aggressive and peck at each other. Females will squawk, while males sing. Females are naturally territorial, so if your birds are constantly fighting for space, they’re most likely females. However, if you test your bird on a female and they get along well, most likely your budgie is a male. Often, males and females will also try to mate, but we’ll get to that in a later post.
One final difference between male and female budgies is their head shape. Oftentimes, males will have rounder heads while a female’s head is flat in comparison. If you’re still uncertain about the sex of your bird, you can get it verified by an avian vet. However, these tips should be more than enough proof and now you can name your bird!
I hope you’re loving this series! Thank you so much for reading this post and come back next week for more content on our feathery friends.