Parakeets, also known as budgies, are considered to be fun, playful birds. They are also kept as pets very commonly, that too, in pairs.
These brightly-colored birds make excellent pets due to their fun nature. They are readily available at almost every other bird shop in town.
However, when you buy a pair – how can you be sure which one is male and female
Differentiating a parakeet’s gender can be difficult. We’re here to help – keep reading to find out the difference!
Physical Differences Between Male and Female Parakeet
In terms of physical appearances, several traits can distinguish between a male and a female parakeet.
Some of which are:
- The color of their cere, feet, and legs.
- Their overall body shape
- Spots on their cheeks
Want some more detail? Let’s discuss each of these physical characteristics in further detail, keep reading.
The Color of Their Cere, Feet, and Legs
As the parakeet reaches maturity, their colors start to change according to gender. As mentioned above, it has mostly do with the hormones produced within their bodies.
A very common way to tell the difference between a male or female parakeet is the color of their feet.
Differentiating between the species’ gender has to do with the Parakeet’s hormones, which may change the colors of their feet.
Male parakeets’ legs and feet are more towards blue. In contrast, females tend to have pink or brown colored legs and feet.
Moreover, parakeets are also widely distinguished based on the color of their ceres.
The cere is known as the area of flesh that connects their beak to the Parakeet’s head where the nostrils are.
Male Parakeets tend to have more of a dark blue and smooth cere area. While the male is young, it has more of a pink or purple-ish cere.
Usually, males that are light-colored have a pink or tan cere.
With light-colored or albino males, it makes it difficult to distinguish between the two genders since the color of their ceres is pretty much the same.
A general rule within the Parakeet gender is that as the bird matures, the male parakeet tends to turn a little darker while the female goes lighter in color.
A mature female parakeet tends to have a pink and crusty cere. However, the color is not always consistent.
For example, a young female parakeet may start with a pink cere, which could then turn into more blue or purple shade, only to go back to pink or brown after it reaches eight months.
You can only determine gender once your bird has reached maturity. So, to accurately distinguish between male and female parakeets, you will have to wait at least a year.
Their Overall Body Shape
An undeniable and common way of determining whether your Parakeet is a male or a female is through the size of its body.
Male parakeets are usually bigger in size, stronger, and often weigh more than female.
They tend to have bigger heads than the female Parakeet – males have more round heads while females are flatter.
Moreover, they are larger, but male Parakeets are also more vibrant in color than females.
However, the factors above depend on the parakeet’s condition and health.
Spots on Their Cheeks
Another physical attribute that distinguishes between male and female parakeets is the spots on their cheeks.
Male parakeets tend to have dark purple freckles or spots on their cheeks. In comparison, female parakeets have light purple freckles.
However, this may not be the best way to determine the sex of your parakeet because it is not necessary there is a color difference every time.
There is also the possibility that the color on their cheeks is the same, and there is no difference at all. So, you might not want to depend on this.
There are only so many physical attributes that could distinguish between a male and a female parakeet.
There are several behavioral differences between the genders of the birds.
Let’s find out how:
While the parakeets are primarily known as active and playful birds, there are certain differences in friendliness based on gender.
Generally, male parakeets are known to be more on the friendlier side. They get along with the other birds, are on the calmer side.
You will often find a male parakeet singing, bobbing its head, or interacting with humans more than a female parakeet.
Female parakeets are comparatively more territorial and bossier. They don’t sing and prefer to stick to only one call.
Similarly, not only with humans but female parakeets are bossier with other birds within the space. If you see a parakeet feeding another bird, it is most likely a male parakeet.
Female parakeets stick to feeding their offspring only.
During immaturity, a few things to take into notice are the biting tendencies of the baby parakeets. Not only babies, but this can be observed within mature birds as well.
Female parakeets, as mentioned, are more towards the bossier side – so if a baby parakeet bites hard and does not let go of you, it is probably a female.
Moreover, baby parakeets that nibble your hands more playfully are most likely male parakeets that are only trying to be social.
However, these are only observations and cannot be specific facts that determine your parakeet’s gender.
You cannot just expect a pair of parakeets to breed automatically just because you placed them together in a cage.
There are many factors involved in breeding that must be taken into account. The environment, timing, and conditions must be correct if a pair is to breed.
When the parakeet is ready to breed, its body goes through physical changes. So, how to know when your male parakeet is ready to mate?
When a male is ready to breed, the cere area turns from a light blue shade into a darker blue and loses its smooth texture.
Similarly, when a female parakeet is ready to breed – her cere turns into an off-white shade or even goes completely tan.
When the female’s cere is tan, that is the most fertile time and is best for breeding.
Both male and female parakeets have different behaviors when it comes to breeding acts or flirting.
Parakeets spend most of their time nibbling each other or grooming one another, touching their beaks. They show affection very openly.
The male shows off for his female partner by fluttering and making multiple noises to grab her attention. They may also display their colorful feathers in an attempt to woo their females.
Whereas the female is more concerned with creating its nest when it is ready to breed. It ends up chewing paper to make a nest when it is ready to breed.
Breeding When Not Ready
As mentioned, to breed accurately, the pair must be prepared and ready to breed.
So, if the pair is convinced to breed when it is not ready under any circumstance, they can judge certain behaviors.
The female is more likely to be laying down at strange times, and the eggs laid will most likely be infertile.
Or, if the eggs are by chance fertile, the female will most likely abandon the eggs because she is not ready.
Even if the chicks happen to hatch, the hatchlings may not be adequately nurtured.
A more prominent factor in determining the gender of your bird is observing whether your parakeet lays eggs.
If you see your parakeet is laying eggs, it is evident that she is a female. Once your bird has reached maturity and finds eggs in the cage, it is most likely a female.
However, if there are no eggs in the cage, it does not mean that you have two males. Some females often do not lay eggs.
While all these observations are subjective and may not give you accurate answers about what gender your parakeet is.
The most accurate way of determining the gender of your parakeet is through DNA testing.
A fresh sample of the parakeet’s blood is needed to perform a DNA test of your parakeet.
It can be done on freshly plucked feathers since they have blood on the tips to make the test less hurtful.
Feathers that have previously fallen out are of no use since they have no active DNA traces. To get an accurate answer, make sure to follow the instructions given by the lab thoroughly.
Another way to perform a DNA test is through blood sexing.
However, blood sexing is probably more stressful for the bird and harder to carry out. The feather method is far more accurate.
Another way of carrying out a DNA test is through freshly cracked eggshells.
These eggshells contain fresh DNA from the hatchlings and can be further examined to determine the gender of the bird.
However, one thing to keep in mind when going for such tests is to ensure that your parakeet is in good health and living in good conditions.
Certain diseases can affect the results of these tests and the color of their ceres, which means that even observational factors can be manipulated.
We hope you enjoyed reading all these exciting and distinguishable facts about female and male parakeets.
Next time you are buying a parakeet, you should have no trouble identifying its gender.
Stay tuned to this space for more informational blogs and bird-watching guides.
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