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Most bird owners like to know whether their budgies are female or male. Telling an adult budgie's sex is quite simple in most cases. Depending on their colour and mutation and of course depending on their current hormonal balance and current health status telling the sex can be more difficult in some individuals.

In general one can tell the sex of a budgie by having a look at the colour of the nose which is called cere. Healthy adult birds show typical cere colours which depend on their sexes.

female Budgies in the breeding mood
Healthy, adult female Budgies have a brownish cere. If a female budgie (hen) is in the breeding mood the cere becomes more or less crusted and partly thickened.

Examples:

Female budgie in the breeding mood    Female budgie in the breeding mood    Female budgie in the breeding mood    Female budgie in the breeding mood    Female budgie in the breeding mood

female Budgies not in the breeding mood
Sick female budgie In case the cere is coloured light brown the hen currently is just in a very slight breeding mood. With light blue colouring of the cere the hen isn't in the breeding mood at all. If an adult female budgie is fights a serious illness the cere might turn whitish to light blue, see photo on the right. After they have recovered from the illness, the brownish colour returns within a few weeks.

Examples:

Female budgie not in the breeding mood    Female budgie not in the breeding mood    Female budgie not in the breeding mood    Female budgie not in the breeding mood    Female budgie not in the breeding mood

Please note:
Sick female budgieAlso female Budgies with a disturbed hormonal balance show light blue ceres for a longer period (months)! Often a dysfunction of an internal organ is the cause of a disturbed hormone release. The photo on the right shows a female budgie who suffered from a kidney disease which caused the described hormonal deficiency.

Male budgies in the breeding mood
Male budgies (cocks) have a more or less bluish cere. The intensity of the colouring depends on their actual health status and of course on their current hormonal balance. Compared to the female Budgies, cocks do not show a wide range of distinct shades of blue when they are in different stages of the breeding mood. There ceres are always coloured in a bright blue.

Examples:

Male budgie in the breeding mood    Male budgie in the breeding mood    Male budgie in the breeding mood    Male budgie in the breeding mood    Male budgie in the breeding mood

Male budgies not in the breeding mood
If a male budgie is not in the breeding mood some light blue to brownish ranges show up on the cere.

Examples:

Male budgie not in the breeding mood    Male budgie not in the breeding mood    Male budgie not in the breeding mood    Male budgie not in the breeding mood    Male budgie not in the breeding mood

Please note:
Yellowish to greenish cere of a male budgieIn some cases the cere of a male budgie who is not in the breeding mood turns yellowish to greenish in the area around the nares, see photo on the right. I didn't find any explanation of this phenomenon in the literature or on the internet so far. Maybe it is a symptom of an illness.

Male budgies who are ill
As a sign of a disturbance of the hormone release which can for example be caused by a testicle tumour, the cere of a male budgie discolours brownish. But not in each case a brownish cere of a male budgie means that the bird suffers from a testicle tumour. Brownish ceres of cocks are more smoothly than the ceres of female Budgies who are in the breeding mood (see above).

Examples for disturbance of the hormone release not caused by a testicle tumour:

Male budgie with a disturbance of the hormone release not caused by a testicle tumour    Male budgie with a disturbance of the hormone release not caused by a testicle tumour

Examples for disturbance of the hormone release caused by a testicle tumour:

Male budgie with a disturbance of the hormone release caused by a testicle tumour    Male budgie with a disturbance of the hormone release caused by a testicle tumour

Difficult cases depending on the colour and mutation
Budgies who show some special colours and mutations don't show their sex in they way described above. Examples for these difficult mutations are albino, lutino or fallow budgies . Also some pieds derive from the above mentioned rules. Especially the male birds are hard to recognise in these cases. There ceres often are coloured light pink to bluish pink and sometimes even whitish.

Examples for these difficult mutations (all shown birds are males):

A male budgie    A male budgie

A male budgie    A male budgie

Telling an immature budgie's sex is not easy for a layman. The ceres of both sexes look very similar at the first view. But if you have a closer look you will find subtle distinctions. Young male budgies have a rose or bluish-purple cere. Around the nares there are white rings in female birds which can hardly be seen, the rest of the cere is coloured whitish-blue. The following photos show young budgies. On the left you can see a female bird, on the right a male one.

A young female budgie who is not yet sexually mature    A young male budgie who is not yet sexually mature
Young female budgie                       Young male budgie

Chapitre en français: Comment déterminer le sexe d'une Perruche Ondulée? lien extern

 
 
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