One of the questions that we keep getting here at the perch is how to determine the sex of a budgie. Well, and occasionally we get pictures of budgies, ceres (fleshy part around a bird’s nostrils) front and center, with a plea to deliver the news to the owner…is it a boy or a girl? And we didn’t even deliver the baby budgie…it’s pretty amazing.
Anyhoo, we would like to shed some light on budgie sexing, in hopes that budgie owners everywhere can enjoy a little certainty about the gender of their bird. And, to a lesser degree, we would love to help you not name your female bird Larry (yes, we know of one).
Let’s start simply. Remember the cere we talked about earlier? That is a very important component of determining budgie sex. In many cases, if the cere is blue, you have a boy. If it remains brown or pink, it’s a girl.
Here’s and example of a handsome budgie boy:
And here is a girl:
Not too hard at all, right? Well, there are a few other things to consider. First of all, age of the bird is important. Budgies can take up to a year to mature. and it can take that long for the cere to take on its final color! One way to know that you have an immature bird is to consider the barring (lines) that the bird has on the top of its head. If the lines are almost all the way to the cere, you’ve got a young bird (much like the blue one below):
Also, some color mutations can throw all of the aforementioned theories out of the water! According to http://www.birds-online.de:
“Examples for these difficult mutations are albino, lutino or fallow budgies . Also some pieds derive from the above mentioned rules.”
If your bird has a color mutation, a boy could look like a girl because the cere color is “washed out.” Oh boy….literally! Here is my budgie Segoe, a young male with a color mutation:
So how do I know (reasonably) that he’s a boy? I have determined it behaviorally. Male budgies tend to talk more often than females and they like to flirt with the girls. So if your bird does these things, you most likely have a boy!
A final note. You can have a budgie’s sex determined by a veterinarian surgically or genetically. Visit here for a great article about that process! It is a little more involved and does cost money, but it is also fairly accurate and very helpful if you are trying to breed your budgie(s).