The Gender Identification How To Tell If A Cockatiel Is Male Or Female

Telling the gender of cockatiels is slightly puzzling through its physical attributes. Generally, birds don’t have obvious signs of characteristics like humans to determine their real gender. It needs nearly a year to identify the cockatiels gender when the adult plumage grows with dimorphism. But the DNA test is a dependable way to get the correct results for gender identification.

So, How to tell if a cockatiel is male or female? As a curious and experienced cockatiel owner, I can easily determine the male and female cockatiel while molting their new feathers and vibrant plumage grow for the first time. The male cockatiel gets more change in general attitude and physical appearance during maturity than the female cockatiel.

The male possesses solid and bright grey, white and yellow colors, face and cheek with a crown-like attractive crest and plain tails. They are loud, more vocal, dominant and can create various mimic sounds. But the females have a dull color and change little both physically and behaviorally. They have yellow spots under the flight feathers and a cream and yellow bearing stripes pattern under the tail. Also, they are quieter, smarter and more affectionate than males.

However, if I understand their physical and behavioral features, I can get many clues to distinguish the right gender of cockatiels. Let’s grab the hints to know if a cockatiel is male or female. 

How To Tell If a Cockatiel Is Male Or Female

Young male and female cockatiels possess the same qualities. When the chicks mature, they move a new enthusiasm court of plumage and color mutation.  Indeed, growing new feathers is an invaluable way to recognize the male and female. The color of Lutino cockatiels is pink to ruby red. It’s a common sign, both male and female. 

Still, younger cockatiels have red eyes, while mature ones have darker eyes. But adult cockatiels physical appearances are awe-inspiring with rewarding crest, bright and larger cheeks, excellent color combination on the face, smooth and glossy features throughout the body, long and plain tail, arrogant and vocal nature, whistling, chirping, singing, melodies that are the significant features. On the other hand, the females indicate less physical and behavioral change. Their only significant sign is egg-laying capability.

However, if I want the most efficient result to identify the accurate gender of a cockatiel through a DNA test, 6 to 9 months is the better age to opt for the test.

How To Tell Cockatiel Gender From Physical Attributes

How To Tell Cockatiel Gender From Physical Attributes

An experienced and caring cockatiel owner assuredly identifies the gender of the cockatiel through physical visualization. Notice the face and cheek patterns, crest decoration, wings feathers, tail patterns and color combination to know if the cockatiel is male or female.

Let’s explain the physical traits through the chart below:

Physical AttributesMale CockatielFemale Cockatiel
Face and HeadMale cockatiels have well-round, bright yellow faces and heads with dark red eyes and impressive beaks. They have pleasing body shapes with dark grey colors.Female cockatiels have pale faces and grey heads with a lighter shade of grey body shape that looks less physically appealing.
Cheek PatternsThe male cheek looks bold and vivid orange in color. The bright yellow face with red-orange cheap creates a tempting body shape.  The females have light yellow and pale orange. Their light orange patterns are less impressive, generally on a more muted yellow or gray face.
CrestCrest is the most apparent feature for males. The adult male cockatiel exhibits an elegant, colorful, large and well-designed crown-like crest on the head. During the breeding season, the males whistle with raise their crest to impress the preferable mates.On the other hand, a female’s crest has no significant feature. They have a little crest without any color combination.
Wings PatternThe male has clean and shiny feathers underside the wings without any yellow spots.The adult female cockatiel has normal gray-yellow spots underneath the wings.
Tails PatternMature male cockatiels have long and streamlined tails which support their body balance and flight agility. They have plain tails.          Females have short and round tails. The lower part of their tails is organized with yellow and cream-bearing straits.

These are the principles features of the body shape of cockatiels. The mature cockatiels exhibit many clues where I can tell the right gender. A chick cockatiel’s gender cannot be precisely identified, though.

How To Identify Cockatiel Gender From Behavior

How To Identify Cockatiel Gender From Behavior

Behavioral characteristics are helpful indicators for finding out the exact gender of cockatiels. Look into some individual behavioral traits between males and females. In this respect,  While molting first, their new feathers grow and they indicate their maturity through several behavioral attitudes. The female change a little and becomes quieter. They don’t talk much and become calm and delightful.

On the other hand, male cockatiels express their enthusiasm through their vocal nature, often belting out a variety of whistles, chirps and melodies to attract the mating partner. They impress their owners by creating various mimic sounds and continuously motioning their crest to show their happiness. Again, mirror behavior, vocalization, head bobbing, wing flapping, mating behavior, nesting behavior and social interaction are some common signs to determine how to tell if a cockatiel is male or female. Here, I explain the various signs of behavioral traits to identify cockatiel gender: 

Behavioral TraitsMale Cockatiel Female Cockatiel
VocalizationMale cockatiels are generally more loud,  vocal and aggressive than females. They can produce amazing sounds, including chirping, singing, loud whistles, melodies and complex speeches. They create melodies and vocalizations to convince their favorite mates or display arrogance.On the contrary, females are naturally affectionate and quieter. They might only vocalize on specific occasions by creating soft melodies.
Mirror BehaviorA male cockatiel loves his reflection and spends most of his time looking in the mirror. It might suddenly stop if it finds any mirror like a window, a Ketley, down to a cup and other things where it sees the reflective surface. The overall male is curious to get attached to a mirror because it thinks its reflection is another bird and tries to mate with that.A female cockatiel is indifferent to seeing its reflection in a mirror and always ignores it.
Head Bobbing And Wings FlappingA male cockatiel frequently uses head-bobbing to express his arrogance and Dominance. He continuously bobs his head as a signal of frighten or dominance to other males. But mostly, he engages in bob head to convince his mate. Wing-flapping is another trick to impress choosable mates during the breeding season.  Male cockatiel possesses these behaviors as it tries to catch females’ attention or signal their arrogance and power to other males.A female cockatiel is quite different in these activities. She doesn’t need to impress her mates and leads a pleasant life without expressing dominance.
Courtship BehaviorA male cockatiel might expose courtship behavior towards a preferable female. It expresses its love by bowing its head, whistling, mimicking, singing and offering food or toys. It also raises its crests and dances around the female to grab her attention.A female might only respond to these advances by showing a receptive personality. If she accepts the male as a mate, she might show eagerness by lowering her head and wings. She also explains her love by nibbling on the male’s beak.
Nesting BehaviorA male is usually less interested in nesting.  But he may show protective behavior and become more defensive of their nesting zone.A female cockatiel has a genuine intention for nesting. When she prepares to lay an egg, she may display nesting Behaviors by shredding paper, feathers, or fabric to create a nest-like environment. She may also instinctively behave aggressively when she lays eggs or bears young chicks.
Social Interaction A male cockatiel is territorial in social behavior. He might exaggerate, be louder, be aggressive, outgoing, direct and firm to assert his dominance; he even might attack humans or other males.The female is social and cooperative with her flock members. She is decent and affectionate to her chicks.
Respond AbilityA male cockatiel responds quickly if the owner offers any treats. He also expects attention from the owner and creates mimic sounds to get time and attention from his dearest companion.A female is naturally introverted and doesn’t expect specific attention from her owner. It takes the treats without explaining any gratification.

A bird lover who has had access to birds for a long time can easily identify the gender of a cockatiel through a few specific behavior and attitude. The unique and charming appearance, along with the behavior of the cockatiel, provide them individual signs which can help to tell if a cockatiel is male or female.


Therefore, It’s easy to tell the gender of a cockatiel whether it will be a mature bird. The bird’s new vibrant plumage, energetic body shape, superb color combination and other significant physical features are important clues to whether it is a male or female. Besides, the exceptional behavioral characteristics reveal the actual gender of a cockatiel. So, learn the cockatiels physical attributes and behaviors traits. Then gather experience to maintain the bird perfectly.


Are all white cockatiels female?

Not at all. A female white cockatiel has a gray head and lighter gray spots under the lower part of the wings and tails. But a white male cockatiel has a white head and plain tail.

At what age do cockatiels mate?

Naturally, cockatiels might be ready for mating after passing a year. But A male cockatiel needs 18 months and a female needs 24 months to become a perfect and healthy breeder. 

Do female cockatiels lay eggs without a male?

Without a mate, female cockatiels can lay eggs. But the eggs can not produce chicks as they are infertile. To produce chicks, the female needs a healthy mate. Only healthy and appropriate pair can produce fertile eggs.

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