If you don’t already know, there are variations and mutations within the cockatiel family. You have your Normal Greys, Pearls, Lutinos, Blues, Pieds, and variations within like Lutino-Whitefaces. Since you found your way to this article, it should be safe to assume you’re interested in telling if your cockatiel is male or female.
We will start there and touch on some other mutations and the visual signs to reveal their sex.
Is your Pearl Cockatiel male or female?
You can not tell if a baby pearl cockatiels are Male or female, but Adult Male pearl cockatiels have white or yellow faces. The female sex, tend to be brown or grey.
There are also a lot of different variations in cockatiels read on to learn more.
Pearl Cockatiel – Male female – What type of Cockatiel do you have?
Before you start figuring out how to determine the sex of a cockatiel by sight, it’s essential to know what type of cockatiel you have. Pearls are covered in, you guessed it, tiny pearls or white spots. Sometimes the spots can be something other than white. Pearls are also known to sport orange cheeks and have yellow on their face.
It’s also important to know that humans cannot determine the sex of a cockatiel by sight alone when they are babies. It isn’t until after they molt for the first time that there will be markings or color variations to give you a clue. That first shedding of old feathers can happen anywhere between the ages of six and nine months.
Once your bird has gone through that initial transition, you should be able to tell the sex of your Pearly by sight. Here’s how by the color on their face. Male pearl cockatiels have white or yellow faces. The faces of the opposite sex, females, tend to be brown or grey.
Some say that male pearls lose their white spotting when they become older, but the face is the simplest way to tell whether your pearly is a boy or a girl.
Pied Cockatiel Male or Female
It’s not a specific color that distinguishes a Pied cockatiel from its Pearl or Lutino cousins but how the colors lay within the feathers. They can be anything from white, grey, or another color you may see on a solid cockatiel, but the patterns create blotches or patches over the bird’s body.
Also known as Variegated or Harlequin, this particular mutation was the first to be established. As for the gender, well, it’s a bit more complicated when trying to figure out whether your pied tiel is a girl or a boy.
If your bird has yellow on its face and radiant orange cheeks, your pied cockatiel is likely a female. But if your bird has a grey patch on its face, it’s more likely a boy. The tail feathers are another way to determine the sex on pied tiel. A cockatiel with barred tail markings is female; those with dark tails but no bars are male. If your pied tiel’s tail feathers are light in color, then you will have to observe their behavior, which we cover later in this article.
White-faced pied cocktail
While they call this mutation a White-Faced Pied Tiel, not every one of the birds that fall in this category will have a white face. Some will have grey splotches or patches, but the distinct difference from other tiels we’ve discussed is that they will never have a yellow face or bright orange cheeks.
Typically, male white-faced pied tiels will have more white in the coloring of their head, whereas the female will tend to be more grey in the face and head. In addition, males will not have barred markings on their tails while the females will.
Cinnamon pied cockatiel
Sometimes called a Cinnie for short, these cockatiels are a version of the Lutino cockatiel. The title “Cinnamon” is somewhat misleading because the spice is reddish in hue, which is nothing like the Cinnamon cockatiel. But they tend to have a bit of brown, which is why they were dubbed as such. There are several types of Cinnamon mutations but, for now, we are covering the pied.
As you read, pied cockatiels have patches of color and patterns without the little spots. This is not different for Cinnamon pied tiels, but finding out their sex is not as simple as the pearl mutations. With pieds, if the tail feathers are dark, the birds with barred tail feathers are likely male, while the lack of barring on the tail feathers tend to be female.
Lutino Pearl cockatiel
Lutino cockatiels will have no grey in their feathers whatsoever. If there is even one little bit of grey, your bird is not a Lutino and can be categorized as a pied. They will also be unable to grow and brown feathers. Lutino pearls are tough to sex with visually, while regular Lutinos can be easier to figure out.
Male Lutino pearls may keep their pearls after several molts and may have tail bars. Baby Lutinos that lose their pearls or tail barring after a juvenile molt is probably male, while adult Lutinos with no pearls or tail locking is also likely male.
Lutino females tend to reveal their sex when they fly because you should see some yellow under their flight feathers. The ladies also tend to have tail barring in yellow or cream colors.
Cinnamon pearl cockatiel
While we covered Cinnamon cockatiels earlier, there is a difference when it comes to the pearled cousins. First, though, we want to review what makes a Cinnamon mutation get that title.
Some say that Cinnamon’s lack grey completely, but others claim the grey they possess has a hint of brown, so brown is the color you want to see. Otherwise, your bird is not a Cinnie.
Figuring out the sex is much simpler in this mutation. Males will have a yellow face with bright orange cheeks. A female will have orange cheeks, but they will appear duller than her male counterpart. A female will likely have bars on their tail feathers that are yellow or white.
Specifically, a female will keep those pearl spots with pearlies while a male will likely shed them after a molt or two. Some males have kept their pearls, so it’s not unheard of.
Sexing a Cockatiel Cost At The Vet
Costs for veterinary services vary from place to place. We did a little searching and found that, for the most part, the DNA test alone is under $45 and can run as little as $17. But that’s for the test.
What each veterinarian will charge is different from place to place. You might be charged a fee for consultation, drawing blood, or possibly the shipment of the test to the lab. To find out specifics, it’s a good idea to call your vet directly or check out their website.
If you don’t have a vet selected, we highly recommend finding an avian vet near you instead of a regular vet. While animal doctors are lovely, an avian vet is trained to work specifically with birds and will be more knowledgeable when it comes to your little feathered buddy.
Other Ways To Tell The Difference
Another way you can tell the difference between a male and female cockatiel is by having a vet do a pelvic exam, which is not a good idea to try on your own otherwise, you can risk seriously injuring your bird. This procedure should only be done by a veterinarian, preferable an avian vet.
The pelvic muscles will be broader for laying eggs. Still, we feel it’s imperative to mention again that this type of test should only be conducted by a professional. Otherwise, you will risk injuring your bird.
Behavior and vocalizations are another way to tell the sex of your bird if visual traits are too tricky to decipher. Male cockatiels love to talk, while females tend to be less chatty. Males enjoy whistling and singing, while females will tend to shriek and hiss.
Another behavioral clue is strutting in front of a mirror. As it turns out, the male of the species will be more likely to stare in the mirror and sing to their reflection or be enthralled, while females tend not to be interested in their reflection for very long.
Males have courtship techniques like banging their beak on something, strutting, or putting their wings back to form a heart from behind. Females will not display this type of behavior. If you find eggs and have two birds separate them to see which is the female.