Cockatoos are beautiful birds, but determining the sex of some species can be a challenging task. The color of beaks, feathers and irises often come into play. Some bird owners resort to having DNA tests performed. There are a few tips to help you identify whether your cockatoo is a male or female.
Check the beak. If you have a black cockatoo, inspect the beak to find identifiers. The male beaks are black and the females' are white or horn-colored.
Check the irises of a large cockatoo. A male will have dark-brown or black irises, while the female's will be light-brown, reddish-brown or burgundy. It may take three to four years to tell the gender with this method as female irises develop colors as they age.
Inspect the feathers. Gang-gang cockatoo males may have orange, white and red feathers on the lower abdomen. Females are identified with dull-orange feathers in the same spot and no red on the head. Feathers around the eyes of some cockatoos are also indicators. On a bare-eyed cockatoo, the female typically has more feathering around the eyes.
Request that your veterinarian conduct a DNA test. This is a fool-proof method for determining whether the bird is a male or female. This can be done on cockatoos of any age.
Watch for eggs. The sex of your cockatoo is obvious if you find an egg in the cage.