Sexing Very Young Budgies (Under 6 months)
Written by Karen D.
Attempting to tell the sex
of a baby budgie before they are 4 months old is an "art". We have several
methods that we use to tell the sex of our Albino budgies, which, as you can
imagine, are the most difficult for us to determine their sex. Although I
hate to admit it my husband is "always" right (he never reads these posts so
I can admit this fact in public).
He can tell the sex of a young bird by the size of its "pupil" (the opening in the iris of the eye where light enters). When this is large, the bird is a female. When it is constricted and appears to be very "focused", the bird is a male. Female birds are usually passive and receptive, allowing more light into the pupils of their eyes. A male bird is a hunter and much more focused (intent) on its prey, therefore, the male bird's pupils are very tight and constricted.
Now, if that is not enough to accurately judge the sex of the bird, then we look at the color and shape of the cere (males having more rounded, "bulbous" ceres). Females will have almost invisible, whitish rings around their nostrils.
The first thing to look
for are budgies with white rings around their nostrils. The rings won't be
very obvious, but if you look closely you may see them. A young budgie with
white rings around its nostrils is a female. This is probably the most
helpful thing to know but as all methods go, it's not foolproof. (The only
foolproof method is to have an avian vet DNA sex your birds.)
Recessive pieds usually have smaller spots of color on their scapula, mantle, coverts, and rump. They (along with albinos and lutinos) are in the group of budgies in which the males end up with pink ceres rather than blue. Females still get tannish, whiteish, pinkish or brown ceres but the males end up pink also.
An Albino Bird that is completely white with red eyes, is probably
female if the cere is flesh-colored instead of pink.
Some people say that females bite harder than males and that males have rounder heads while females heads are more flat on the top. Remember this may be relative because behavior does not accurately predict sex.
Here is the simplest way to tell the sex of a budgie: female birds have a brownish cere which can also be anywhere from tan, light grey or pink and can be white to pearl colored while under 5 weeks. The female can also have a blue cere but it will have a white ring around it. When in breeding condition the females cere can turn very dark brown and very wrinkled and crusty-looking. The males have a blue cere which is always a solid color and may turn darker blue when in breeding condition and can be pink while under 5 weeks old.
Thank goodness for DNA!!