The parakeet has all the qualities to make a pleasant pet bird. Sociable, cheerful and… handsome, which doesn’t spoil anything. Now that your decision has been made to welcome this little parrot into your home, your heart is weighing: is it better to choose a male or a female? In this article, we help you make an informed choice, by presenting the differences between the two sexes, both in terms of physique and character. Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, you will know which parakeet to adopt, male or female.
Male and female parakeets: what are the physical differences?
One of the main differences between the male and the female parakeet is based on the color of the plumage and the cere, this membrane which covers the nostrils of the bird, easily spotted at the top of the beak. In adult parakeets that display their final color, we notice the following characteristics:
The male’s cere generally has a brighter, more uniform color. In some species, it can be blue, purple or pink. In the female, the color is paler, almost white around the nostril openings. note that colors may vary depending on the age and health of the bird. In a budgerigar, sexual dimorphism is more pronounced: the female has a cere in shades of beige to brown or brown and the texture is rougher, a bit like a crust. The male’s cere is blue and smooth; The male’s iris is often darker than that of the female, but it must be examined closely to discern the shade; The wings may display colored bands or have distinctive spots in males; The size is often identical in both sexes although the male is sometimes slightly larger. Male and female parakeets: what are the differences in character?
The physical differences between the two sexes being minimal, you will have to base your choice on the behavioral characteristics between male parakeets and female parakeets. We present to you below their main character traits in order to estimate which one corresponds more to your expectations:
The male is very sociable, lively and confident. Seeking more human interaction, he is often more playful, extroverted and curious. The male is also more vocal, he tends to speak more loudly and deploy a greater range of sounds. Its song is more frequent and can last a long time. Both sexes are capable of learning to reproduce sounds but the male may be a little quicker in learning. This is because it is more likely to sing in order to attract the attention of females, like many birds. During the breeding season, he may throw food (offerings) at his partner, shake his head up and down or peck at the bars of his cage. It adopts courtship behavior, such as displaying its feathers and dancing movements, as a courtship display; The female is calmer, fierce and suspicious. She remains more reserved, seeks attention with less insistence. She does not chirp, or occasionally, and always for a specific reason. Female parakeets generally sing less often than males and produce slightly less melodious sounds. They do not undertake a courtship display but during the mating season, they become agitated under the effect of a hormonal surge. Females may then exhibit destructive behavior, due to nest building (such as breaking and biting objects). They can also have reactions linked to nesting, outside the breeding season; It is important to note that each parakeet has its own personality and that females can exhibit the characteristics generally attributed to males, and vice versa. A strong bond can be established with your parakeet, whether male or female, provided you meet its needs and give it all the attention it deserves. The best results are obtained by practicing positive reinforcement, that is, rewarding good attitudes (with praise and treats) and ignoring bad ones. Trust will be established and a beautiful relationship will be formed with your animal, whatever its sex. How to tell a male parakeet from a female parakeet?
There are 2 methods for identifying the sex of a small parrot: by observing physical characteristics and by palpation. Explanations:
In the budgerigar, it is quite easy to sex the animal. As indicated above, the male has a smooth, fairly deep blue cere while the female has a rough cere, in shades of beige to brown during the breeding season. In most other species, the distinctive external signs are very discreet to the point of making sexing difficult. In young male parakeets (less than 4 months), the cere is blue tending to pink or purple and that of the female is paler, almost white. The presence of wing bands in the male can also be an indicator but the deduction is not 100% reliable;
The assessment of the anatomical differences between male and female parakeets cannot be done visually, hence the need to palpate the bird. The female has a cavity for the passage of eggs which the male does not have. To realize this, you must very delicately take the parakeet in your hands and gently feel the lower part of its abdomen. However, these manipulations, even if carried out carefully, can stress the animal. The method is therefore not recommended for anyone who has never practiced it. It is best to call an avian specialist (veterinarian or breeder). Only professionals will be able to provide exact information on the sex of your bird.
Can a parakeet live alone?
The answer is no. The parakeet is a gregarious species that enjoys the company of its peers. In their natural habitat, these birds live in pairs or groups. In captivity, the parakeet does not tolerate solitude well and risks becoming bored or even depressed, which could harm its general health. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to offer him a companion. The ideal is to adopt two parakeets at the same time, knowing that the best combination is a male and a female. A couple creates very close bonds and their complicity is truly touching: the two partners will groom each other, eat from the same bowl, kiss each other, court each other, sleep next to each other and sing together. If you do not plan on breeding between them, do not provide them with a nest and remove anything that could encourage nesting. Parakeets tend to breed when they have a suitable place for laying eggs, such as boxes, baskets or cavities in cages. Breeding parakeets requires in-depth knowledge of the species; it is advisable to consult an avian veterinarian or an experienced breeder for professional advice and support.
Can two parakeets of the same sex live together?
As previously stated, to ensure a harmonious relationship, male-female pairing is recommended. This combination allows the birds to form a balanced pair, without sparking rivalry between conspecifics of the same sex. For example, it is not recommended to accommodate two females, as the situation could go wrong. The female has a fairly developed territorial instinct and risks refusing the presence of a rival in her stronghold. Good understanding will therefore not be assured. It is possible to bring two males together because the notion of territoriality is less marked among males. Cohabitation will go even better if the two parakeets are adopted at the same time and grow up together. In all cases, it will be necessary to provide a cage or aviary large enough for the pair of birds to live comfortably and thrive together.