How to Tell a Male Green Cheeked Conure From a Female

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The only reliable way to sex a conure is through DNA testing, but there are some ways to guess at the sex of your bird. You can flip your conure onto its back and trace the breast bone down toward the tail with your fingertip. If the breast bone splits before it reaches the tail the bird is likely a female. If you don't want to request a DNA test via the mail, you can have your veterinarian perform a DNA test at his or her office.

Telling the difference between a male and female isn't as simple as one would think.

The green cheeked conure is a type of parrot in the same family as the macaw, cockatoo, lorie, lorikeet, parakeet and others. Conures are long-tailed, small to mid-sized New World parrots that come from South and Central America and Mexico. The green cheeked conure belongs to the genus Pyrrhura and are smaller than some other varieties of conures. Characterized by scalloped chest feathers, wide eye rings, black beaks, brown eyes, dark green bodies, red tail feathers and pink feet, the green cheeked conure is a beautiful bird. Males and females have similar physical characteristics and are nearly impossible to tell apart for most bird owners.

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Step 1

Order a DNA testing kit specifically for birds. There are several companies that provide this service, or you can work directly with your avian veterinarian. You will need one kit per bird.

Step 2

Collect a sample two ways: from plucked chest feathers or a small blood sample from a clipped toenail. Clipping the toenail should only be performed by a veterinarian or an experienced bird owner who understands where the quick, or blood vessel, is located. Clipping a toenail will cause unnecessary stress and pain to your bird. Removing chest feathers is a more humane way to test parrot DNA and is just as accurate as a blood test.


Step 3

Follow the instructions included with the kit to properly return the DNA samples and ensure the accuracy of the test results.