How to Determine the Sex of a Senegal Parrot

By Jodi Thornton O'Connell

Both female and male Senegal parrots are visually similar with gray heads and green bodies with yellow abdomens. While DNA testing or witnessing the animal's breeding behavior are the only sure ways to tell a Senegal's sex, minute differences in feather coloration and markings can lend a clue to your parrot's gender.

Green is for Girls

Take a look at your parrot's undertail coverts, the short feathers covering the underside of the tail's base. If the coverts are green, or a combination of green and yellow, your parrot is a female or an immature juvenile. Males' coverts are yellow with no green feathers. While it's not unheard of, it's rare for a mature male to retain any green feathering on his coverts.

Other Physical Differences

Green feathering on the parrot's chest gives another clue to gender. The bright green feathers taper to a point on the bird's abdomen. A longer V shape that ends near the parrot's legs indicate a female. The male's markings end midway down the abdomen. A female's head is rounded at the crown and smaller than the male's. Her head and beak are narrower than a male of the same age. A male's head is larger and broader in proportion to his body and appears flatter on top than a female's head.

Behavioral Differences

Male Senegal parrots usually tend to have a bolder personality, which can even become aggressive during breeding season. This is not a reliable way to tell gender, as some female Senegals can be quite assertive. The female lays eggs and sits on the nest until her young are 4 weeks old. The male brings food to the nest for the family.