The Galah and black cockatoo are cousins to the cockatiel.Adult cockatiels with the “normal grey” coloration, a grey body with yellow head, are relatively easy to distinguish based on their plumage.Other cockatiel colors can make this more difficult, but there are enough behavioral differences and subtle visual clues that you can often make a good guess.As individual cockatiels have a great deal of physical and behavioral variation, try to rely on several pieces of information.
Step 1: Wait until the bird has a full head of hair.
When they are young, male and female cockatiels look the same.After about six to nine months, the bird will grow a new coat of plumage, usually more colorful and with more variation between the sexes.A dull coat or faded colors can be a sign of poor nutrition.Provide a nest-box for juvenile birds, as this can cause over-early egg-laying or breeding, which harms the female.
Step 2: Do you know if your cockatiel has standard plumage?
Normal grey cockatiels have grey bodies with a yellow head and orange cheek circles.The steps below can be used to identify these.You have a bigger challenge ahead of you if your cockatiel doesn’t match these descriptions.You will often have to rely on behavioral cues to identify these breeds.
Step 3: The tail should be looked at closely.
Adult females in grey cockatiel breeds have markings on the underside of their tail feathers.Some females have dots or irregular patterning on a grey background, but these are horizontal stripes alternating grey/dark grey or white/grey.If you don’t see anything, hold the cockatiel up and look closely.The cockatiel is most likely a male if you don’t see any markings.The pale yellow and pale white birds that still have cheek circles can be identified by the female’s yellow spots under the wings and yellow marks on the tail.You may need a bright light to see them.
Step 4: Look at the faces.
In normal grey cockatiel breeds, the male has more striking facial feathers with bright orange spots and a bright yellow face.There are lighter orange spots on the female face.The male and female in some breeds only have a yellow and brownish face, while the juvenile face of the female is grey or brownish.There are some cockatiels with white faces that have no cheek spots at all, and there are others with faint cheeks.
Step 5: You can compare the body parts.
Grey body cockatiel breeds tend to have darker grey plumage on males and lighter grey on females.It may help confirm suspicions raised by earlier tests.Breeds with non-grey body plumage are not usually identified this way.There are yellow spots on the underside of the wings in some breeds.In pearled cockatiels, the male loses his “pearls” after the first molt, while the female keeps them.
Step 6: Take the cockatiel to a doctor.
The last test should only be done by a vet.inexperienced people could hurt the cockatiel and are unlikely to be able to tell the differenceIf you want the vet to examine your cockatiel’s bones, ask him to sex it.There is a lot of variation between individuals and this is not a completely reliable method.If a cockatiel is an adult and has laid an egg in the past, the method is more likely to work.If you want to be certain, ask for a DNA test.
Step 7: Observe vocalizations.
A cockatiel that learns to talk is usually a male.Whether or not they learn any phrases, males tend to be more vocal and spend more time whistling, while females prefer hissing and screeching.
Step 8: The bird should be given a mirror.
Male cockatiels are more likely to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror.It’s more likely that the bird is a female if it loses interest quickly.
Step 9: There are male courtship rituals.
Male cockatiels are usually the ones trying to woo a partner, but they will sometimes show these behaviors even without another bird around: tapping his beak loudly against objects to get a female’s attention.hopping motions and quick head dips are involved in whistling or beak tapping.When viewed from behind, the wing tips formed a heart shape.
Step 10: There are female courtship rituals.
Unless a male is present, females don’t usually display their behaviors, such as sitting on a low perch, peeping quietly, and her tail up in the air.She is trying to feed the male cockatiel.
Step 11: Take notice of masturbation methods.
Most experienced bird owners have seen a bird rubbing its vent on its owner’s hand.Some birds do it daily or more frequently.There are exceptions to this type of masturbation being seen in males.Male masturbation involves rubbing the vent on the object and humping it.Female masturbation can be similar, but could also involve backing up against an object with the tail up and body bent forward.
Step 12: Take a look at egg laying.
If you find an egg in a cage with multiple birds, this won’t help you because only females lay eggs.Provide each bird with a separate cage and a nest box, or point a video camera on the box to record future behavior, if you want to be certain of the sex identification.Females under 18 months should not be given a box as egg-laying can cause serious health problems in young birds.Adding more egg-laying will be stimulated by removing the egg.The activity between two birds should be obvious if the egg is fertilized.