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Male or Female Parakeet? How to Identify the Differences (with Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

If you’re looking to buy a new pet bird, one of the most common questions that come up is whether or not it’s better to get a male or female parakeet. To make an informed decision, you must know how to tell the two genders apart!

This article will teach you what you need to know about sexing parakeets so that you can make your choice with confidence. Please note that it will be impossible to accurately sex your parakeet until it is at least one year old. Before that age, they are identical.divider-birds

Observe the Cere

Yellow Parakeet
Image Credit: Christine Bird, Shutterstock

The cere is a band of skin that runs across the parakeet’s beak and only appears once they reach maturity. The cere is usually a bright blue or purple color with orange or yellow at the tips in males. In females, it’s often brown or pink, to begin with, and takes on the same coloration as the male’s when she reaches maturity.

Behavioral Differences

Paying attention to your parakeet’s behavior is not always a reliable way to tell the sex, but it can help your odds if you are throwing a wild guess. In general, females tend to be less active and more delicate. They will usually let themselves be picked up without fuss, whereas males are more likely to bite you if you attempt to touch them.

Suppose your parakeet is courting a mate or protecting its nest. In that case, these behaviors can also help tell the sex apart – female parakeets are rarely aggressive towards other birds while protecting their nest often includes back-arching displays that many males do not perform.

That doesn’t mean a male won’t ever engage in these kinds of behaviors (or vice versa), but it may suggest that they aren’t typical for a specific gender.

Yellow Parakeet
Image Credit: Dawid K Photography, Shutterstock

Visit the Pros

As you can see, it can be tough to tell the difference between a male and a female parakeet if you aren’t familiar with the species. Since keeping birds as pets is still an uncommon practice, it’s unlikely that anyone around you will qualify as an expert.

So, your best bet would be visiting an experienced breeder who can properly sex your bird. Before buying from them, however, you should make sure they are a reliable source selling their birds responsibly and providing for their basic needs.

If possible, meet both of their parents to see how healthy they are to judge how well the breeder is taking care of them before deciding how to proceed or what kind of plan they may have in place for any offspring they produce.

It can also help to speak with other clients who have purchased from the same breeder or similar breeders. Breeding practices can differ between sellers, so it is in your best interest to make sure you’re dealing with someone reputable.

Purple Parakeet
Image Credit: Supachai Rattanarueangdech, Shutterstock

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Recap

Male and female parakeets can be hard to tell apart if you haven’t kept your bird for very long, but there are some key differences between the two. The best way is by checking its cere – the patch of bright feathers on top of a parakeet’s beak. If it’s blue, the chances are that you have a male; if it’s pink, you’re looking at a female!

Admittedly, though, this trick only works after your parakeet has hit maturity – before then, they don’t show any signs of different genders. And even once they’ve matured, it can still take quite a while to tell apart the two.

Moving forward, you shouldn’t be worried about your parakeet’s gender – especially if you have a mixed flock! They are highly social creatures who thrive off interaction with other birds, meaning that they’ll be happier and healthier if both males and females are in the same area.

If all else fails, then just remember this: male parakeets tend to be slightly more aggressive than their female counterparts. If you’re still having trouble, it might not hurt to get some professional help!


Featured Image Credit: Rob Jansen, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.