Sunday, May 9, 2010
Although there are many hybrid colors of Splendids, I think the normal variety is the prettiest. Why fool around with a good thing? Adult male Splendids in their normal wild color are easy to recognize. The males have a scarlet chest and the females don't.
All young Splendids look like hens. It could be many weeks before bits of red begin to show on their chests, indicating that they're male, gradually filling in to cover most of their chest.
As with Bourkes, I'm not going to go peering inside a bird ... it might injure them and I wouldn't know what to look for anyway. I'm not a vet. Leave this to the professionals!
However, there is another way that may help determine the sex of your young birds. Splendid males tend to have black beneath their wings, whereas, females have white bands within the black. If the white bands are broken, you may have to wait and see whether the white bands fill in or disappear. In my case, I've seen partial white, broken bands fade out to become all black (males). If the underside of the wings are already black, then you know you have a male. If there are strong, unbroken white bands (lines) on the underside of the wings, then you have a female.
I posted this description once before and a reader said he appreciated it. He used this and said it's always proven true for him since. Handling the babies to check the feathers on the underside of their wings should also help tame them.
Good luck sexing your youngsters!