How to Tell a Girl Bird From a Boy Bird

Identify a budgie by checking its cere.
Identify a budgie by checking its cere. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Determining a bird's sex can be done by either a pet owner or by a licensed veterinarian. Some birds have features that only a boy or girl bird would have. These birds are known as dimorphic birds. An owner can visually check a dimorphic bird's sex. Other birds require scientific testing to find its gender. These are known as monomorphic birds.

Parakeets, budgies, and eclectus parrots are dimorphic birds. Mynahs, macaws, conures, and cockatoos are monomorphic birds.

Dimorphic Birds

Check the cere to determine the gender of a budgie or parakeet. The cere is the fleshy area above the beak. The nostrils sit on the cere. Male budgies and parakeets have a blue cere. Female budgies and parakeets have a brown and flaky cere.

Check the cere after the bird is older than a year. Younger birds are too young to have distinguishing features.

Study the coat of eclectus parrots. The male and female birds have different colored feathers. Male birds have a green coat and female birds have a red coat.

Listen to canary birds. Only male canaries sing.

Monomorphic Birds

Check the bottom of the cage for eggs. If your bird lives alone and has eggs, it is a female bird.

Consult a veterinarian about getting a DNA test done. A monomorphic bird's gender can only be determined through scientific methods. DNA testing requires a blood, feather, or toenail sample. You can get the samples yourself, or you can contact a veterinarian for assistance.

A veterinarian can do gender testing.
A veterinarian can do gender testing. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Contact a veterinarian about doing surgical testing. A veterinarian creates an incision in the abdomen and can see the sex organs. Younger birds are not good candidates because their sexual organs have not yet developed.

Tips & Warnings

  • DNA and surgical testing are the only methods used to determine a monomorphic bird's gender. If you are concerned about surgically testing your bird, DNA testing is a less invasive method. There is no surgery or anesthesia involved. Sending a feather sample or toenail clipping to a lab even allows a bird to stay at home.

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