How to Tell if a Cockatiel Is Male or Female

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Observe vocalizations.,
Give the bird a mirror.,
Watch for male courtship rituals.,
Watch for female courtship rituals.,
Notice masturbation methods.,
Check up on egg laying.

While not a hard and fast rule, 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, whereas females tend to be quieter, and favor hissing and screeching more often the males.

, Male cockatiels are more likely to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, strutting, calling, or investigating it. If your bird loses interest quickly, it’s more likely the bird is a female.

, Male cockatiels are generally the ones actively trying to woo a partner, but they will sometimes exhibit these behaviors even without another bird around:Tapping his beak loudly against objects to get a female’s attention.
Strutting around while whistling or beak tapping, involving hopping motions and/or quick head dips.
Wing tips lifted away from body, forming a heart shape when viewed from behind

, Females are generally less active leading up to bonding or mating, and typically do not display these behaviors unless a male is present:Sitting on a low perch, peeping quietly, with her tail up in the air.
Attempting to feed the male cockatiel she has bonded with or is trying to bond with.

, Most experienced bird owners have noticed a bird rubbing its vent (bottom) on perches, objects, or even its owner’s hand. Some birds will do so daily or even more frequently. This type of habitual masturbation is most commonly seen in males, but there are exceptions.

Male masturbation generally involves humping the object or standing over it and rubbing its vent on it.
Female masturbation can be similar, but could also involve backing up against an object with the tail up and body bent forward.

, It’s no surprise that only females lay eggs, but this won’t help you if you discover an egg in a cage with multiple birds. If you want to be certain of the sex identification, provide each bird with a separate cage and nesting box, or point a video camera on the nesting box to record future behavior.

Females under 18 months should not be given a nesting box, as egg-laying often causes serious health problems in young birds.
Removing the egg will stimulate additional egg-laying.
Keep in mind that the egg may be fertilized, although in that case pair-bonded activity between two birds should be obvious.

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