About Cockatiels: Males vs Females

   There are quite a few differences between males and females. To some people, it doesn't really matter. But others have their heart set on a particular sex. I've provided this information below so that you may decide whether a certain sex is right for you and your situation. Please note that some pros can also be seen as cons, so I've placed them under both.

  Pros Cons
  • Females are more loving
  • Females are much quieter2
  • Not as pretty (Normal Greys Only1)
  • During the breeding season, females will lay eggs (just once each year) and need additional calcium in their diets
  • Females are much quieter
  • Prettier (Normal Greys Only)
  • Males whistle and some talk
  • More independent
  • During the first month of the breeding season each year, the male becomes more aggressive for about a month
  • Males whistle and some talk

1 In color mutations such as Pearl, the female retains the speckled pattern, while the male sheds it during his first molt. Ordinary Pearl males look like Normal Greys after the first molt, but may retain slight evidence of pearling. Lutino mutations look identical.
2There are exceptions to every rule... some females are talkative and whistle, some males are quiet. I wouldn't count on it though. :)

Normal Grey Female   I've been asked which I prefer - at the moment I have more hens (female birds) than cocks (male birds). I would have to say that if I were going to have three or more birds, I would probably only have one male, mostly due to the noise factor. Also, the females are quite sweet and more apt to cuddle up to your neck than a male. Males are quite nice to look at, however, and it's interesting to see what whistles and words they will pick up.

Normal Grey Male   If you live in an apartment, I'd suggest a female, so that your neighbors aren't annoyed by shrieks and wolf whistles. You can cover their cages, but you should only do that at night, not as a deterrant for screaming.

   Male cockatiels can live with other males just as well as they live with females. They get along quite well. Beware if you have a male and a female - you may soon have baby cockatiels! Birds less than a year and a half old should not be allowed to breed. There are numerous health concerns for the parents and the chicks that I will not go into here - this is just a beginner's guide, after all. Males and females should be separated in about March each year. The breeding season is April to December, but it is also dependent on a number of other factors, including light, and noise from other birds.

Still have a question regarding males and females? E-mail me!