4 Ways How to Tell If a Cockatiel Is Male or Female

If you don’t know how to tell if a cockatiel is male or female, you are on the right site. In this article, I will tell you how to identify a cockatiel’s gender with some methods.

In fact, male cockatiels are different from female ones in different aspects such as color and behavior. That is so, this article will guide you.

At What Age Can You Identify a Cockatiel’s Gender?

Cockatiels begin to get the adult coloration at six to nine months old. Besides that, you will notice behaviors that lead you to know whether a cockatiel is male or female.

Maybe, you can guess your cockatiel’s gender accurately before it develops its adult colors based on its behavior. But early traits may change as they grow older. So, don’t be surprised if their colors and behaviors change.

How to Tell If a Cocktail Is Male or Female Through Color Patterns

If you are familiar with cockatiels’ color patterns, cockatiel behavior, and color mutations, you can combine these facts to find out your cockatiels’ gender. Now, we will focus on color patterns first.

After their first 6-9 months, you can identify whether they are male or female. Here, you just need to observe their color patterns. If your cockatiels are silver, cinnamon, fallow, white-faced, or normal gray, use the following characteristics!

1. Male Cockatiels

Male cockatiels have solid yellow faces & bright orange cheek patches. Then, a male white-faced cockatiel must have a pure white face.

After their first molt, male cockatiels will lose the white or yellow bars on the tail feathers as well as the spots on the underside of the wing feathers. That’s how to tell if a cockatiel is male or female.

2. Female Cockatiels

Mostly, female cockatiels’ faces are tan or gray with white or yellow. In some cases, their check patches turn duller orange.

Besides that, female cockatiels retain yellow or gray barred marks on their tail feathers as well as the wing feathers that juvenile cockatiels have.

Cockatiels’ Color Mutations

Now, we will discuss cockatiels’ male/female color mutations. These color mutations can make sexing your cockatiels more complicated. With some mutations, you will also need to rely on some other indicators.

1. Pied

How do you know if a pied cockatiel is male or female? It depends on the cockatiel itself & other involved mutation crosses.

Usually, females have more yellow on their faces as well as bright cheek patches. If your pied cockatiels have retained their barred tail marks, they are female. But if they have dark tails & no bars, they are male.

If the tails are fully light-colored, you should rely on DNA sexing or behavior to be sure of their gender.

2. Lutino

Usually, female lutino retains the barring on their tails although it is faint. If they are a lutino pied, barring doesn’t seem clear. So, it requires other observations to determine the gender.

3. Yellowface

These cockatiels don’t have cheek patches. However, other color patterns are like normal grays. Male yellowface cockatiels have yellow heads & lose their barring whereas female ones have mostly gray faces & retain their barring.

4. Pearl

Now, let’s see how to tell if a cockatiel is male or female in other cases. Here, males lose their pearled markings until they look like common males. Besides that, pearl pied males can retain some pearling.

5. Pastel Face

Their cheek patches won’t be brighter significantly in male cockatiels. However, other patterns of color are definitive.

6. Albino

It is impossible to sex this pure white cockatiel using color patterns. If yours are pure white with dark eyes, they are not albino, but clear pied.

Cockatiels’ Behavioral Differences

Cockatiels will naturally differ in behavior. However, general observations can help you determine if your cockatiel is male or female.

1. Male Specific Personalities

Generally, male cockatiels are prone to mimic sounds and are more vocal. At about 6 months old, they are usually attempting to mimic sounds, whistling, and singing.

How to Tell If a Cockatiel Is Male or Female

Besides that, they tend to show off by hopping, strutting, lifting wings into a heart shape while whistling & singing, and tapping toys or their food dishes.

They are outgoing and curious. They also have entertaining personalities. That’s why they become the center of attention.

2. Female Specific Personalities

Females less tend to mimic sounds or sing. Generally, they have quieter & don’t like to show off.

Female cockatiel

They tend to enjoy snuggling up on your shoulders. However, each bird may vary. In fact, some female cockatiels are full of sass and spunk.

How to Tell if a Cockatiel Is Male or Female Using DNA Testing

In relation to how to tell if a cockatiel is male or female, you can determine it with a DNA test. However, it requires obtaining a blood sample or plucking a chest feather of your cockatiel. The best way is to ask for help from a vet.

You may also need to read the following articles:

Which Is Better to Have a Male or Female Cockatiel?

Both males and females can be your wonderful companions. They are fun, affectionate, and charming. However, you must interact to them properly.

Sometimes, there are some differences between them. So, you should decide whether you better get the male or female one.

1. Female Specific Needs

Since a female cockatiel loves companionship, you have to be ready to spend a lot of time with her.

Besides that, female cockatiels tend to nest easily. Therefore, you must be ready if your female cockatiel lay eggs.

2. Male Specific Needs

Male cockatiels also like to have friends. They love to fly around in a room, too. However, you must be ready with repeated loud calls if your male cockatiels cannot find friends.

Even though they are not the loudest parrots, this can make your ears ring. If you care for them properly, they can belong to your sweetest of feathered friends.


There’s no doubt how fascinating these beautiful creatures are. After you understand how to tell if a cockatiel is male or female, you should learn how to care for and handle them properly. So, they can be your sweet little companions at home.

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