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Parakeet age and Gender

Updated on June 24, 2014


The only way to tell your parakeet's gender is by waiting until it is a few months old, then looking at its nose, or 'cere'. Each gender has a set of colors that the parakeet will rotate through during its mating cycle.

Male Cere

Click thumbnail to view full-size


The male parakeet only has two colors—a light pink and cobalt blue.

  • Blue-Your parakeet is in his mating cycle and can be bred.
  • Pink-Your parakeet is not ready to breed

Male parakeets are typically very outgoing, and spend a lot of time singing. They also tend to be very active, and will spend most of their day playing with their toys.

Click thumbnail to view full-size


Unlike the male, the female has three distinct colors—Brown, crusty, and white.

  • Brown-This indicates that your female is ready to mate.
  • Crusty (half brown, half white)-This stage takes place between the two solid colors. The brown coloring will essentially 'peel' off of your parakeet's cere. Don't worry, she's not sick!
  • White-Your parakeet is out of breeding condition.

Females are both more aggressive and less active than the male. They tend to be the 'boss' and may push other parakeets around.


Another important thing to know is your budgie's age. This can help with breeding, pairing, or even just curiosity. There are two main ways to find this out—their pupil color and forehead bands.

Iris Color

Parakeets have four main iris colors, depending on their age.

  • Black: 0-4 months
  • Dark Grey: 4-6 months
  • Grey: 6-8 months
  • Light Grey: 8+ months

Forehead Pattern

Young parakeets begin with striped feathers covering their entire head, all the way down to their cere. When they go through their first molt, however, they lose those feathers. Their first molt typically takes place at 3-4 months old, so it is a reliable way to tell their age.


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      23 months ago

      Is the iris the ring around the eye?


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