1. My bird has bright colors, so it must be male.
False. Although in some bird species the males are more brightly colored, this isn’t true for the majority of parrots commonly kept as pets; the exceptions include male normal grey cockatiels, which have brighter orange cheek patches and male Psittacula parrots, which have rings and other more distinguishing characteristics.
2. My bird seeks out nest sights, like under the furniture and in boxes, so it must be female.
False. Both males and females in most parrot species can display nesting behavior such as seeking out dark, enclosed spaces. Lovebirds, cockatiels and budgies are a few parrot species where females tend to display more nesting behavior.
3. My bird has an extensive vocabulary, so it must be male.
False. Although male parrots have a higher probability of talking, many female parrots are capable of imitating human speech.
4. My bird just laid an egg, so it must be female.
True. While you’re bird might have displayed behavior you associated with males, if it laid an egg, it is definitely female.
5. My bird loves my husband, so it must be female.
False. Birds can have gender preferences, (preferring men over women and vice versa) but that has more to do with that particular bird’s socialization and experience with people rather than simply preferring people of the opposite sex.
6. My bird loves to cuddle with me, so it must be female.
False. Both male and female parrots can be cuddly with their owners, but that depends on their socialization and whether or not they associate people with positive interaction.
7. My bird is territorial around the cage, so it must be male.
False. When hormonal (e.g. during breeding season), males and females can be protective of their cage and surrounding area.
8. My adopted bird is named Joe, so it must be male.
False. Unless the bird has been DNA-sexed, there’s no guarantee that “Joe” isn’t really a “Josephina.”
9. My birds are displaying mating behaviors with each other, so they must be male and female.
False. Birds of the same gender can exhibit affectionate behavior toward each other and some birds of the same sex might even attempt to copulate, albeit unsuccessfully.
10. My bird always tries to regurgitate for me, so it must be female.
False. In many parrot species that are commonly kept as pets, males and females might attempt to regurgitate for favored people, other birds or even on favorite objects.
This quiz shows common misconceptions and common stereotypes about determining a bird’s gender. Conclusion: It isn’t easy to tell if your bird is a male or female (unless its species is sexually dimorphic or it lays an egg!). The easiest way to know your bird’s gender is to have it DNA-sexed by your veterinarian or laboratory. DNA testing requires only a drop of blood or a feather.