Male Vs Female Cockatiel | Do They Differ Much Each Other?

The cockatiel (Nymphicus Hollandicus) is one of the cutest birds of the Cacatuidae family native to Australia. There are much similarities in both male and female when you see them first. But, also there are a lot of attributes that differ them from each other.

Do you know how to differentiate between male vs female cockatiel? The female has horizontal tail feather stripes since the male has none. The male face is vivid orange spotted on a yellow face, whereas the female face is paler orange on a muted yellow or gray face. The female has lighter gray plumage than the male.

Briefly, male and female cockatiels differ more in characteristics. Look closely at both of them to see how much they differ.

Male Vs Female Cockatiel: How To Tell The Difference Between Male And Female Cockatiel

Cockatiel male or female how can you tell? By the way, you will find the differences in their physical appearance and behavioral aspects.

Let’s check out the following attributes that can help the cockatiel male vs female comparison.

Physical Comparison Of Cockatiel Male Vs Female

Both male and female cockatiels have typical color tones for bodies like yellowish gray, orange gray, whitish gray, or dark gray. The face and the tails are the primary aspects to differentiate them.

But, initially, you can’t differentiate the chicks between the age of 6 to 9 months of their birth. After this period, they start to molt with their color mutation.

Comparing The Face Of Male

The most striking distinction between male and female cockatiels you can differentiate easily is their face.

  • The male cockatiel has a bright yellow face. On the yellow face, the orange spot is vivid and colorful.
  • On the other hand, the female cockatiel develops a lighter yellow face with an even lighter orange spot on it. The female chicks don’t build their faded grayish color over the color mutation.

Comparing The Plumage Color

After developing at a young age, there are changes in the plumage of male and female cockatiels.

  • Male cockatiels generally develop a darker gray color in their plumage.
  • On the other hand, female cockatiels develop lighter gray plumage.

Note: This distinction could be easier only for the gray cockatiels. But non-gray-bodied quarries are hard to distinguish in this way.

You may consider the following facts in rare cases.

  • Some types of female cockatiels have little yellow patches under their wings.
  • Some pearled cockatiels hold white dots on their body during their youth age. After molting the first time, male cockatiels generally lose the white dot during the mutation. But females don’t.

Comparing The Tail Color

Don’t be bothered with plumage. Here you can also see the tails of two cockatiels to determine their gender.

  • The most popular kind of cockatiel, the gray one, may have markings hidden behind the tail feathers. The marking may appear as horizontal stripes in hues like gray, pale, or yellowish. In such cases, the cockatiel is a female.
  • If you don’t find any markings or dots underneath the tail feathers of your pet cockatiels, you may have a male one.

Note: While female cockatiels have larger hips, males have smaller hips.

According to the World Parrot Trust, here is a glance at cockatiels’ available colors at a glance.

Male Cockatiel ColorFemale Cockatiel Color
Soft gray bodyDarker gray tailGray and yellow crestYellow face with a vivid orange spotDark brown eyesGray washed yellowish crest and cheeksLighter orange spot on facePale gray lower backPale gray center tail feathersWhite and yellowish barredDark gray banded

Behavioral Comparison Of Cockatiel Male Vs Female

If you have yet to differentiate the male or female cockatiels after having such intensive physical comparisons, you should check for their behavioral distinctions.

Because there are significant differences in the behavior of male and female cockatiels, though environmental behavior of cockatiels might be a topic of more study.

Check the following attributes and compare.

Comparing The Vocal Of Cockatiels

The most significant behavioral difference between male and female cockatiels is their vocalization.

  • Male cockatiels are significantly more vocal than females. They love to create sound by whistling. They are talkative and love to learn some human words like other parrots. They also love to express their enjoyment through their vocalization.

Males don’t begin to vocalize significantly until they are older (6 to 9 months), at which point they begin to sing and mimic human noises.

  • On the other hand, the females are quieter cockatiels than the males. They often use “hiss” and “screech” instead of whistling.

Comparing The Personality of Male Vs Female Cockatiels

There are differences between the personalities of both male and female cockatiels.

  • Male cockatiels have a show-off nature. They are engaging and noisier. Create sounds more often and sing. Male Cockatiels are friendly and love to befriend humans who pet them.
  • However, females always work to keep them restrained or introverted. A lot of noise bothers them. Additionally, they maintain their wings at the ready in case they perceive a threat.
  • When you place a mirror in front of a male cockatiel, they exhibit a unique behavior. To reflect would pique their curiosity, they strut and make noise with joy. Mirrors, however, don’t intrigue women.

Sexual Behavior

In terms of romance, male cockatiels are significantly romantic. They are too active to attract females. Males normally strut around to show their manliness.

Even the males are too aggressive, trying to mate with objects and tools.

The males also do the following activities as well-

  • Tap objects
  • Lift wings frequently
  • Whistle and sing
  • Hit objects with beat
  • Rub the vents on objects for self-recreation.

On the other hand, females never engage in behavior like this. They want to preserve their distance from others. The only sound produced by females is a gentle rustling, and they also raise their rear ends.

DNA Test To Distinguish From Male Vs Female Cockatiels:

If everything fails to identify your pet cockatiel, if it is a male or female, the last way is to test its DNA. It would be safe to take the cockatiel to a vet.

The vet will take its feather or blood sample regarding the DNA testing. With the DNA test, it’s pretty easy to identify the cockatiels’ gender.

Male Vs Female Cockatiels: Comparison At A Glance

Here is a comparison table to summarize how to tell the difference between male and female cockatiels. This will help you to grasp the basic differences between male and female cockatiels.

Identifying Gender of Male Vs Female Cockatiels
FaceBright Yellow face. Vivid orange spot on the faceLight yellow face almost washed gray. Also, light orange spot on the face.
Plumage ColorDarker grayLighter gray
Tail MarkNo tail markHorizontal stripes are present. occasionally identifying spots beneath the tail
Sexual behaviorToo much excitement. Strutt and rooming around the females to seduce themReserved and don’t show much affection like males
Mirror BehaviorToo much interestedNot interested
VocalWhistle, vocalized, mimicryQuiter, or create a too low sound


You might have some relevant question in your mind about cockatiels. Here we answered some frequently asked questions that might help you.

What gender cockatiel is better?

If you are thinking about “are male or female cockatiels more affectionate?”,  it depends on your preference. If you love talkative, noisy, and too showing-off characteristics, male cockatiels are for you. They are friendly enough.
But females are quieter and sweeter. You might love them for their introverted nature.

Do female cockatiels get aggressive?

Yes, this could happen. The female cockatiels could be aggressive toward the males during pregnancy. If the female is too young to give birth, the chance of getting aggressive is higher.

Final Words

So, what have you known of male vs female cockatiel? Are they easy to distinguish? Actually not. You now probably know the characteristics of both males and females to distinguish them. Though the colors and behavior will help you to identify them, sometimes you may need to test their DNA in intensive cases.

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