Sunday, May 16, 2010
Another Bourke Gender Identification
I'm sitting here listening to a young Bourke sing and realized there's one method of identifying sex that I've not mentioned before.
Three Rosies are sitting along a perch and one Rosy is singing away, interspersed with wolf whistles. He is a MALE for sure. Male Bourkes like to sing, especially in the Spring. I'm not sure how early this characteristic begins, but it happens while they are still very young ... too young to breed. He's just chittering away happily while the other two are quiet. They are likely hens, although I'm less sure of their gender than I am of his. Hens will sing too, but they tend to chirp more quietly and less often.
It's early morning and that's when Bourkes are most active ... at dawn and dusk ... early morning and late evening. If sunrise is at 5 a.m., as it is here now, they will start singing slightly before the sun is up no matter how early.
Something else was mentioned in a comment about a pair of birds that turned out to be male, and that triggered a memory. If there are no females available, the more dominant male will try to feed the less dominant one. This is common in both Bourke and Splendid parakeets. The males instinct is to feed a mate, and if no hen is around, they'll try to coerce another male to accept being fed.
In a cage of mixed birds, several times I've seen a male Splendid single out a female Bourke and attempt to feed her. That's only because I have two extra male Splendids that I've been unable to find mates for. The Splendids prefer a female Bourke to another male Splendid if both are present. However, they leave male Bourkes alone! Bourkes are slightly larger and can intimidate Splendids when bothered. By the way, you won't get a hybrid Bourke/Splendid, although Splendids may try... Splendids have, however, successfully bred with Turquoisine grass parakeets.
May all your birds have Good Breeding! Smile.