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Male vs. Female Parakeet: What Are the Differences?

Written by Gabrielle Nicole
Published: December 7, 2022
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Parakeets are among the most vocal birds in the parrot family and have an estimated vocabulary of up to 2,000 words. Although both male and female parakeets are expressive, one is known for being more of a talker than the other. Let’s find out whine is more likely to mimic your voice and all the other key differences between a male and a female parakeet.

Comparing a Male Parakeet and a Female Parakeet

Male and female parakeets differ in their ability to lay eggs, behaviors, and vocalizations.

©A-Z-Animals.com

Male ParakeetFemale Parakeet
Cere ColorBlue – PurpleWhite – Brown
Egg LayingFertilize the eggs that will produce baby parakeetsLay 4-8 eggs, incubate 18 days before hatching, sometimes lay unfertilized eggs
VocalizationsMore likely to talk, mimic many soundsLess vocal, tend to stick to one type of call
BehaviorsEnergetic and playful, head bobbing and wing flicking, often more open to being handled.Less active on average, tend to be territorial and sometimes aggressively protective, often less open to being handled.

Key Differences Between a Male and a Female Parakeet

The key differences between male and female parakeets are their cere colors, the ability to lay eggs, behaviors, and vocalizations.

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It’s very difficult to determine the sex of young parakeets. Male and female parakeets are physically indistinguishable from one another as young birds. Even as adults, it is difficult to determine the sex of these birds. Many birds display prominent sexual dimorphism in the form of their coloration. Males and females of many bird species display wildly different plumage colors and patterns. This is not the case with parakeets, whose many color mutations make males and females impossible to tell apart by this feature.

Male vs. Female Parakeet: Cere Color

Parakeet pet guide
Adult male parakeets have a cere that is blue to purple.

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The skin above the beak of parakeets that surrounds their nasal openings is called the cere. Cere color can vary and is generally not well defined until parakeets are roughly a year old. It will often be brighter during mating season. In young parakeets, both sexes display light pinkish ceres. Typically, adult male parakeets have a cere that is blue to purple. Adult female parakeets have white to brown ceres, but they can sometimes remain lavender. The color of a female’s cere depends on her hormones and age. Cere color can help determine the sex of your parakeets, but it is not a foolproof method.

Male vs. Female Parakeet: Egg Laying

Female parakeets lay the eggs, and males fertilize them to produce parakeet chicks. A lone female may occasionally lay eggs, but they will be infertile and not produce a chick without the fertilization of a male. This happens when her hormones have gone through changes without a male presence that led to the development and hatching of an egg, as with chickens. When a male has fertilized a female’s eggs, the female will lay 4 to 8 eggs and incubate them for 18 days before hatching.

Male vs. Female Parakeet: Vocalizations

Parakeet eating
Female parakeets tend to be less vocal than male parakeets.

©DmyTo/Shutterstock.com

Female parakeets tend to be less vocal than male parakeets overall. They usually stick to one type of vocalization, a call that can sound fussy and excited. Males are more likely to attempt to talk by mimicking the many different sounds they hear. 

Male vs. Female Parakeet: Behaviors

Paying close attention to the behavior of your parakeet can help you determine whether you have a male or a female on your hands. The difference in behavior between the sexes is a generalization, and much like the cere, color is a helpful clue but not guaranteed to determine the sex of your bird.

Male parakeets tend to be quite energetic and playful. They’ll often display more expressive head bobbing and wing flicking than females. Males may be more open to being handled than females. Males will likely display courtship and mating behaviors when sharing an enclosure with other birds. Females are less active on average but will display aggression and become territorial when protecting their nesting box, eggs, or offspring. They may be less willing to be handled than males and will often nip at approaching hands unless a trusting relationship has been established.


The Featured Image

Carolina parakeet
Parakeets are among the most vocal birds in the parrot family.
© Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Gabrielle is a freelance writer with a focus on the subjects of animals, nature and travel. A Pacific Northwest native, she now travels the country with her beloved dog by her side. As a nomadic writer, she may write her articles in the dust of the desert with a coyote call backdrop or beside the sea with seagulls swirling high above. Her devotion to the natural world has led her to the lifelong study of plants, fungi, wildlife and the interactions between them all.

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Sources
  1. Lafeber Company, Available here: https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/questions/how-can-i-figure-out-the-sex-of-my-parakeets/
  2. Omlet, Available here: https://www.omlet.us/guide/parakeets/nesting_and_breeding/eggs/