Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Four Girls -- Not So Fast!

We have four parakeets, all girls. At least that's what we thought...

Adult parakeets are sexually dimorphic, the differences between the looks of the males and females, only by the color of the cere -- that body part above their beak where their nostrils sit. Boys are blue (how convenient!), girls are not-- their color can vary but is often tanish or brown. The cere, an ambiguous pale color at birth, will settle into its final color when the keet reaches maturity, somewhere around 8-12 months.

When we increased our keet-load from two to four late in 2009, we got two more girls (assured by the pet store), so we would avoid the confusion that we felt sure would erupt in a co-ed cage. Now, as they are approaching maturity, we find that the cere of Newfie, our blue keet, has turned from pale to bright blue. Looks like she might be Our Little Man!

We have read that the cere can turn blue and then closer to 1 year turn another color (or vice versa), so it is not certain that we have a transexual keet (transexual at least from our point of view, as "she" probably knew the status of "her" genitals all along). We'll have to wait and see. But you can be sure we are watching her "sister" and store-mate, Baja, very carefully!

Newfie Last December

Newfie Now


Sharon Del Rosario said...

I wondered about Newfie. S/he seemed to be a little more aggressive than the other 'girls.' Now, does this mean you might end up with some half-breed Canadian/Mexican baby birds?

yelemay said...

Your females should consider themselves lucky that there is only one male among them. I had 5 budgies once, and they were all male, except for one female. That poor little girl never got any peace...all those males wouldn't leave her alone. Poor thing, I finally had to get a separate cage for her just so she could get some rest!!