How to Tell If a Parakeet Is Male or Female?

By Raven King

Parakeets make great, friendly pets. If you have one, you might be curious as to whether it's male or female for naming purposes. And if you want to breed parakeets, you will definitely need to be able to tell if a parakeet is male or female. However, young parakeets do not have visible genitals and adult genitals are usually covered by a number of feathers, so you'll need to use other methods to determine the gender of your bird.

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Mature parakeets (between eight and twelve months) will have a band of skin across their beak that will take on a gender-specific color called the cere, reports Veterinary Advice Online.

First, you should locate the cere (pronounced see-ree). Look above your parakeet's beak, where you will see a set of nostrils. There is a strip of flesh there that is different from the beak and anything else on the bird.

Look closely at the color of the cere. According to Bird Tricks, a parakeet with a blue or purple cere is a male bird, while a parakeet with a pink or brown cere is a female bird. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine the color of the cere because some females have a little bit of blue and white around their nostrils. But males have all blue or purple ceres; if it is any other color, it is a female.

If your parakeet is under a year old, the bird has not fully developed yet at this point and the ceres are colored differently. In young males the cere is a bright, purplish pink, while in young females the cere is usually white.

Some parakeet behaviors can help you tell if the bird is male or female, according to Wavian, a popular pet bird resource website. Males may bob their heads more, sing more, and interact with humans more. Females tend to be more territorial and bossy, and they chirp loudly more than they sing.

If you want to be absolutely sure of your parakeet's gender, you should to make an appointment with an avian vet, a veterinarian who specializes in birds. The avian vet will use a few feathers or a toenail to get a small amount of blood to test the bird's DNA. When the results come in you will know without a doubt if your parakeet is male or female.