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He or She?? (~_~;)

HE or SHE?


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    2

scremme

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Guys I have been stumped.
Long story made long:
I got my first cockatiel from a bird shop. They said he had been blood tested and that he was a boy. Yayy, so cute! We took him home and named him Jester. A little while later we decided to get him a friend. Having a good experience with the first shop, we decided to buy from them again. This time adopting a cute baby pearled boy named Smokey. The only difference was that Smokey came with a numbered band when Jester had not.
Some time went on and we started to notice some behavioral changes in Jester. Then one night he decided to let us know HE was a SHE! We came to the conclusion that the reason for the mix up was because she had not been banded as a baby and therefore they just mixed her up with one of her siblings at the shop.
Now, knowing we had a girl and a boy, we bought them separate cages and everything was ok! Unfortunately, Jester passed away recently due to natural complications... it was a very sad time for everyone, especially Smokey.
After a while, we decided he needed another companion. So we went to another bird shop and adopted Cricket (also blood tested a boy). While at the new bird shop, the owner commented that Smokey looked like a girl due to coloring. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but recently we took both Smokey and Cricket for a doctor checkup and the lady vet refused to call Smokey a boy!
I kindly explained that he had been blood tested as a baby and was a boy, and that he hadn’t really gone through his first molt. But due to coloring, she basically refused to believe me and stated confidently that she believed he was girl!
I got very frustrated with this because we have been mistaken before due to human error, but that was just because Jester had no arm band. I called the first shop again to confirm that Smokey’s band number was listed as a male, and it was.
However, now I’m nervous and anxious that I have a male and a female AGAIN by accident!
To me Smokey acts like a boy! He whistles and screms and copies is. He also does heart wings at Cricket all the time! He can be VERY loud at times. This was in stark contrast to how Jester acted when she was with us.
Coloring wise, yes, Smokey does look female... but I just figured he’d grow out of it when he molted.
I’m attaching a few pics of Smokey. One of when he was a baby baby! It’s clear he has lost some pearl as he’s grown. Please give me your opinions on his gender! Help put my mind at ease!
 

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Khizz

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I am beyond clueless with these things, except behaviour - wise it sounds like typical male behaviour!

However, whenever these kind of questions come up we can usually count on @Monica to have a good answer!
 

Tiel Feathers

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How old is he? (Sorry if I missed it) If he hasn’t had his first molt yet, you might have to wait and see. A male will most likely loose his pearls. Both your birds are beautiful, and I’m sorry for your loss.
 

scremme

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How old is he? (Sorry if I missed it) If he hasn’t had his first molt yet, you might have to wait and see. A male will most likely loose his pearls. Both your birds are beautiful, and I’m sorry for your loss.
He was hatched in July of 2019! So he’s about 7ish months old. Idk why he hasn’t molted yet!
 

Tiel Feathers

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He will probably molt in the next couple of months I bet, especially now that it is spring.
 

Tara81

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Smokey is a boy and your vet needs to learn about the pearl mutation in males, lol.

Just because of your observation:

It is clear Smokey lost some pearls. I’ve never heard of females losing their pearls.

More evidence .. uh DNA test.. pretty accurate..
Behaviour... all male..

Your photos don’t show Smokey’s back and wings very well in the more recent photos so I cannot say for myself he lost pearls.
 
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Tara81

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Also, some males can keep their wing pearls through a few molts, the back pearls are usually the first to go.
 

Monica

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Sorry to hear of the loss of Jester.

Smokey does appear to be a young male though. There's a bit more yellowing in the face and losing pearls.... plus obvious male behaviors. Granted, females can show those same exact behaviors! They can whistle, sing and do heart wings! But hens are far less likely to display those than males.


Perhaps the vet will have a change of heart once Smokey goes through a full molt and looks like a normal male! ;) Then again, she might just think you swapped birds, too!


I currently have 3 pearl cockatiels under my care. Two normal pearls and one cinnamon pearl pied. The cinnamon pearl pied is my 18+ year old hen that lays eggs. I've had people question her gender because she has a bright yellow head! Yeah.... doesn't mean squat in certain mutations! LOL The other two? Male and female! If you didn't know what to look for, you'd think the male was a normal grey.

I have had people with more years of experience keeping birds tell me things about birds that I know are absolutely wrong... and most of the time, they refuse to change their views. I've had the same from new people as well, but that's more understandable. In short, don't fret it! But heck! I could be wrong, too! What I see/hear is that Smokey is a young boy! :)
 

Tara81

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Yeah it will be very funny when you bring the bird back after he’s molted out the pearls
 

scremme

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TIS THE END OF THE HE/SHE SAGA
ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ

Some welcome news to get me through the mundane days of home quarantine...
The DNA results are in and Smokey is indeed a BOY! Since my original post, he’s even molted, but I guess he’s holding onto those pearls for dear life haha

Let’s try to not have anymore crazy mixups from now on! (*´ω`*)
 

Tara81

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TIS THE END OF THE HE/SHE SAGA
ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ

Some welcome news to get me through the mundane days of home quarantine...
The DNA results are in and Smokey is indeed a BOY! Since my original post, he’s even molted, but I guess he’s holding onto those pearls for dear life haha

Let’s try to not have anymore crazy mixups from now on! (*´ω`*)
He will probably lose more pearls by the time he is 12 months of age. You said he is only 7-8 months old right? They don’t molt all their feathers at once, it’s a process of 2-3 months I think :)

btw , we told you so :) monica is very good at cockatiel mutations (sexing when it’s possible )
 
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