Thursday, February 23, 2012


Each Parakeet variety is different, and so are the methods for sexing them. This post is intended to clear up a mistaken idea about sexing Rosy Bourke Parakeets. It may have occurred because of a discussion over sexing young Splendids. 

Splendids and Bourkes sharing a cage.
I've posted before that young Splendid (Scarlet-chested) Parakeets can often be sexed before a male's' red chest fills in. Simply look under a young feathered bird's wings. Hens have a white stripe under their wings. If the underside is all black, they are male. Occasionally, you will see broken white bars and their sex is still questionable. In my experience, the birds with broken white bars later lost those bars and were males. However, I don't guarantee that this will always be the case with all young Splendids who exhibit broken white bars.

Splendid wing photos are courtesy of:

Underside of Splendid hen's wing.
Underside of Splendid cock's wing.

Broken bar. This one turned
out to be a male Splendid.

A comment was made that Bourkes, too, have white bars under their wings and that this is indicative of sex. Not so! When I first read that, I thought, "Can this be true? After all the years I've raised Bourkes have I overlooked something this simple?" 

Rhett Jr. is definitely a male Rosy Bourke. All my male
Rosies exhibit a white stripe under their wing. This is
not a valid way to identify sex in a Bourke.
To verify or deny that comment, I grasped some of my tame birds and looked under their wings...(this is not a position they particularly like).

Sugar, a Rosy Bourke hen. The underside of her wing
is very much like the male Rosy Bourke's. Her face is
darker, which is often the case with hens vs. cocks.

In all cases, my male Rosies have white bars (or stripes) and so do my female Rosies. There was no significant difference. It was interesting to note, however, that my Normal males don't have a white stripe ... only the Rosies do.
Spicy, who is mated to Sugar above, is a Normal male Bourke.
Notice that under his wing there isn't any white bar.
That's different from the male Rosy Bourkes in my flock.

The lovely color wheel below was made by Washington State Artist Chris Maynard of Featherfolio. All of the small feathers from Bourkes and Splendids below came from our flock. Smile.

A Link to:  Feather Art

Peace & Blessings.

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