Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sexing Splendids

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!


neversink7 said...

I too love the wild or normal colored splendids. I don't usually like cinnamon or pied birds. I must say the white breasted blue splendids are quite pretty, but the price of such birds are quite prohibitive. They are also reportedly less hardy as mutations tend to be. The lutinos are pretty too, but I don't usually like red-eyed birds. For a yellow grasskeet, I favor the yellow mutation of the turquoisine - they are gorgeous and are a hardy mutation.


The Splendid Bourke Bird Blog said...

I agree. I don't raise turquoisines, but I love the yellows I've seen at bird shows. They've tempted me. I've wondered about their temperment compared to Bourkes or Splendids.

neversink7 said...

They are reportedly more shy and temperamental. My first pair was raised in an aviary previously and took a few months to fully settle down in my flight cages. I didn't have much luck getting them into a smaller breeding cage, so put them into my biggest flight cage. The male is getting more territorial, so could be the beginning of their breeding behavior. Once they got used to me and their flight cage, I don't find them to be very shy. My second pair (unfortunately lost the female early on, so just has a bachelor right now) was probably raised in a smaller aviary/flight cage, so was very used to being in a smaller space and is very calm. The bachelor is lonely and trying to feed all the gouldians in the same flight as him with varying degrees of success. LOL. Trying to find a girlfriend for him currently. The turqs are not quite as clownish as the Splendids and probably not as calm/sweet as the Bourkes (I've never had Bourkes and unfortunately have no more room for them...for now), but they are even quieter than the Splendids and just beautiful to look at and will settle down in a smaller flight cage if given enough time.

neversink7 said...

Just re-discovered a link to a website that shows the white wing bar in picture form: