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Nose and cere of a budgieThe nose is located right above the upper beak. This area of a budgie's face is naked, there are no feathers covering the nose of a healthy budgie. Most parts of the budgie's nose are located behind the visible part, the so-called cere (1) which is a waxlike skin that covers the area above the beak. In healthy birds, the cere is smooth and soft. There are two openings in the cere, the nostrils (2). In healthy birds, the nostrils show smooth edges and you can see through them. If your bird is healthy, you can spot the tiny nasal cavities and there should be no scabby secretions or other foreign bodies inside the nose. For bird owners, a budgie's nose is very important: The cere can help you to determine a budgie's sex: Male budgies of most colour varieties have a blue cere, female birds have a brown or very light blue cere. Due to the gender-based colour of the cere it is regarded as a secondary sex characteristic of the budgies.

Hyperkeratosis of the cere in a female budgieHealthy birds show a flat and smooth cere (males) or at most only a bit rough cere (females in breeding condition). If a budgie's cere becomes too crusty, vets call this phenomenon a hyperkeratosis, see photo on the right. In some cases such excrescences have to be medically treated by a vet because the nostrils might become overgrown by the horny substance. In most cases, female budgies are affected by this health issue, but in general it can also occur in male birds.

Injuries of the cere or the nose can be caused by different things, such as fights or collisions. Some cere injuries are very serious because such wounds tend to bleed severely and it is necessary to treat them with iron chloride or something comparable to save the bird from bleeding to death. It is also recommended to contact an avian vet and make sure there is no infection and the wound will heal nicely.



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