Difference Between a Male and a Female Budgie

By Rigel Celeste

Native to central Australia, Budgerigars, commonly known as parakeets and budgies, make fun-loving and social pets. Males and females are nearly identical and it can be all but impossible for an untrained eye to differentiate the genders. But thanks to a few choice details you can determine the sex of your birds.

Significance

Although both sexes make excellent pets, it's important for several reasons to know whether your budgie is male or female. Grouping males and females together could result in pairing off and unwanted breeding, which could make for quite a surprise if you aren't in the market for more birds. Also, there are personality differences and specialized health concerns that vary between the sexes.

Identification

Male and female budgies are nearly identical to each other in appearance, with the only notable difference found on the "cere," or nostrils, which are near the beak. Most male budgies will have a bright blue cere and most females will have a pink, white, tan or brown cere. Brown ceres are usually thicker and can be crusty. Budgies less than a year old that have not yet reached their first molt will have purplish ceres regardless of their gender, and those with unique or rare adult color variations may have differently colored ceres as well. When all else fails, consult an avian veterinarian, who can surgically determine a budgie's sex by testing its chromosomes.

Personality

All budgies have their own unique personality, but as a general rule males tend to do more head bobbing, be more outgoing and social, sing more often, and be learn to talk more readily. Females, on the other hand, can be louder, tend to be bossy, and like to chew and gnaw more frequently. In the wild they gnaw holes in trees for nesting.

Health

Budgerigars are generally hardy, healthy birds, but females run the risk of becoming "egg-bound," which happens when an egg gets stuck during the laying process. This is a serious and life-threatening condition that needs immediate attention.

Fun Fact

Parakeets are naturally green in the wild but breeders have created almost every color and color combination imaginable including yellow, yellow and green, white, blue, albino, and even periwinkle.