How to Differentiate Male and Female Conures? (Avian Vet’s Guide)

Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Ali Shahid

Conures are brightly colored new world parrots popular around the world because of their striking coloration across species. Identifying a conure’s gender is important if you own one. For this, you have to understand: How to differentiate male and female conures.

Avian vets say conures are dimorphic, which means they cannot be distinguished by their appearance alone. You should consider advanced methods such as DNA sexing and surgical procedures. As an avian vet, I always recommend DNA sexing to obtain accurate results without harming the bird. However, without money or a DNA sexing facility nearby, you can find differences in physical appearance, and behavior.

How to Differentiate Male and Female Conures

Differentiating between male and female conures can be a tricky task, but with the right knowledge, it’s possible to tell them apart.

As an avian behavior specialist, I’m here to give you some tips on how to identify each gender of conure.  However, it should be noted that these differences are only relevant to experienced bird owners and breeders.

Identifying the gender of conures can be an important part of owning these birds. Knowing how to differentiate male from female is essential for bird owners considering breeding or looking to adopt a pair.

Conure breeders say that, It is possible to tell the difference between males and females in all species if one knows what signs to look for.

However, only experienced breeders and bird owners should take advantage of these differences as they are not proven and reliable.

Physical Differences

  • Generally, female conures have shorter tails than male conures.
  • Male conures have brighter plumage than female conures.
  • Male conures are reportedly larger and stronger than the opposite sex, which is small and delicate. However, this is not a guarantee.
  • According to some experts, male conures have larger beaks than females. This method is also unreliable.
  • Males are also believed to have squarer, flatter heads, while females are said to have rounder, smaller heads. Again only experienced breeders can make accurate assessments based on their appearance.
  •  A female’s pelvic bones are farther apart than a male’s, but this is typically only true after sexual maturity.

Observe Gender Differences During Mating Season

Mating season is a great time to observe gender differences in conures. The males of all species will typically display more vibrant colors than their female counterparts during this period. In addition to visual cues, behavioral displays can often help identify genders among these species as well.

Here are some signs to look for during mating: 

  •   In the mating season, males perform courtship dances and provide food to prospective partners. A female may indicate interest in a particular mate by tilting her head upward.
  • When breeding is in progress, both sexes may vocalize, however, males tend to vocalize more loudly and clearly.
  •   Unlike other parrot species, male conures are more territorial and aggressive than females.
  • It is well known that female birds lay eggs. Therefore, if one of your conures lays eggs, then it is a female conure. However, you will have to wait 10 months for this to occur.

DNA Sexing

After observing the mating behaviors of green-cheeked conures, another way to differentiate males from females is through DNA sexing.

This method uses a sample of blood or feather material to determine gender. The table below outlines the advantages and disadvantages associated with this technique:

Advantages

  •  Results are more accurate than observation methods
  • Can be completed quickly once the sample has been obtained  
  •    No need for birds to be together for comparison purposes

Disadvantages

  •   Expense & potential risks involved in collecting samples (e.g., injury)
  •   Requires access to laboratory equipment and personnel for analysis
  •     Reliability is affected by the quality of the sample collected and sent off for testing

As an avian behavior specialist, I recommend considering DNA sexing as a reliable alternative when determining how to tell male and female green cheek conures apart.

While it may involve additional costs and time, it can provide you with accurate results that will help you better understand your pet’s habits based on its gender.

Additionally, since no physical contact between the birds is required during the process, there are fewer risks associated with obtaining samples.

Conure Parrot Gender Identification Surgically

Identifying the gender of a conure can be an important step for owners who want to ensure their pet is healthy, comfortable, and receives proper care. 

However, accurately discerning between male and female conures is not always straightforward. Fortunately, there are some methods available that can help identify the sex of your bird. 

The most reliable way to determine the sex of a conure is through surgical identification. 

Avian behavior specialists often recommend this method when it comes to determining species-specific sexual dimorphism in parrots as it offers an accurate and definitive answer.

This procedure involves making a small incision into the abdomen through which reproductive organs can be examined directly by a veterinarian or avian specialist.

Pros

  • Definitive Answer
  •  Accurate Results
  • Species Specific Identifier
  •  

Cons

  •     Invasive Procedure
  •    Potentially Risky/Painful
  •      Expensive Cost Estimates

Though surgical identification may seem intimidating, if done correctly under careful supervision from an experienced vet or animal behaviorist, it has low risks associated with it and provides results quickly.

In addition, many owners find peace of mind knowing they have taken all necessary steps to properly care for their pet’s health and well-being.

Ultimately, though ultimately expensive and potentially risky, surgically identifying the gender of your conure will provide you with valuable information about your pet’s health needs moving forward.

Why Is It Important To Know My Conure’s Gender?

Most of the time, it is not necessary to know the gender of your conure. Your bird’s gender has no bearing on his or her personality, management, care, longevity, trainability, or sociability.

Conures make excellent pets, regardless of whether they are male or female. However, knowing your conure’s gender can be useful in certain circumstances.

Here are some instances where you need to know the gender of your conure:

  • The gender of a conure must be known before selling it. 
  • When breeding conures,
  • it is important to know the gender of both conures.
  • Having both males will not result in the production of eggs.
  • You’ll get infertile eggs if you only have females.
  • The identification of gender is also vital since calcium and other vitamins are required for females. Males tend to be noisier than females.
  • So, if you live in an apartment, make sure you check the gender of the conure before buying. Getting a male conure can put you in trouble.
  • From a health perspective, your conure’s gender may matter, since some diseases are gender-specific. Some females suffer from egg binding, which affects their ability to pass eggs. You may want to know your pet bird’s gender before giving him or her a name. 

Conclusion

Conures make excellent pets because of their bright colors and easy-going nature. Since they are dimorphic, DNA sexing and surgical methods are the most effective methods of differentiating them.

Male and female conures differ in terms of their behavior, appearance, and level of loudness. However, vets and breeders should be the ones to figure out these differences.

Author

  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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