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Visually Sexing Cockatiels

 

Some of the things to take into account when visually sexing cockatiels are the age of the bird and the colour of the bird. I will go through some of the more common colours and with the help of pictures explain how it is possible to tell the sexes apart.  Under each basic mutation heading I have included pictures where possible of a hen, a cockbird and a juvenile.

Wingspot Sexing

Firstly I will explain the method of wingspot sexing as this is similar in all mutations except for pearl, pied and sometimes lutino and the multi-mutations of these birds. This rule applies to all solid coloured birds whose colour is a result of colour changing genes. This will not be reliable with birds of visual pattern altering genes such as pearl and pied. In pearl mutations the changes that this gene causes to the normal pattern makes the wingspot method unreliable as males and females alike can have spots or lack of. The Pied mutation is technically ADM Pied which means this gene removes the difference that is normally noticeable between the sexes. For more information on the pied please see my Pied Cockatiel page. I have explained more about the ADM factor of Pied on that page so I won't repeat myself. With Lutino and Whiteface Lutino birds the spots are often there but because of the lack of contrasting colour are very difficult to see. It is possible with a black light but not everyone has access to one of those.

Wingspots are the spots on the underside of the primary and secondary flight feathers. Males will usually have spots on only the outer feathers furthest from the body or he will have none at all. A hen will have spots on all the feathers from the body right out to the longest flights. A juvenile bird usually has spots on all the feathers the same as a hen and moults out these at around 6 months of age when they are replaced by non-spotted feathers.

"Pictures coming soon"

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