Wednesday, 2 March 2016

3. Boy or Girl?

Don't over complicate Budgie sexing! 


Once you know the general rule for recognising boys and girls it's really quite simple - not necessarily easy as some birds decide to mess with us, but if you make sure you are looking for the right colours it's not too difficult.

Because it is quite simple, I found it incredibly annoying to be questioned numerous times about Buster on my Instagram page - you might even have read this because I sent you here! I was constantly having to defend that Buster was a boy all because he had a pink cere. People rudely told me I was wrong and that he was a girl, and they knew this because he had a pink nose. Wrong! Buster is a boy, was a boy and has always been a boy, and actually very little about their comments was correct. So, I have written this blog post to help explain why my little Buster is a boy and how I knew that he was even when he was nice and pink.

You can't place human gender stereotypes on to budgies - it does not work - at all! Pink does not mean definitely a girl, and blue does not mean definitely a boy. For young budgies, it is actually the other way around!


Very young budgies can be slightly trickier to sex as they tend to all have pink ceres which changes as they grow. Usually by 8 weeks you should be able to see the characteristics that tell you if your bird is a little boy or a little girl. Of course there are some little birds who want to be difficult, but you can still make a reasonably good guess by looking at the features of the cere.


Baby male = Pink/Purple cere

Adult male = Blue cere - usually a dark royal blue


Baby female = blueish/white cere with defined white rings around the nostrils
Adult female = whiter cere slowly turning brown as the female matures


Above is a fantastic table which shows the variations between the sexes, On the left is young female on top, young male on bottom. The boxes on the right are what you can expect to see from 6 months on. 


There are some exceptions to these rules and I will get to them soon. 



DO NOT CONFUSE THE BLUE OF A YOUNG FEMALE WITH THE BLUE OF A MALE!

''MY BABY BUDGIE IS A BOY, IT'S BLUE'' - ARGH!! NO. 

IF YOUR BABY BUDGIE HAS A LIGHT BLUE CERE IT IS UNLIKELY TO BE A YOUNG BOY AS BOYS GO BLUE WHEN THEY ARE OLDER. What colour is a baby boy? (Answer: Pink)
 CHECK FOR THE AGE OF THE BUDGIE AND FOR THE PRESENCE OF WHITE AROUND THE EDGE OF THE CERE AND AROUND THE NOSTRILS. 
YOUNG IMMATURE FEMALES ARE WHITE/BLUE, YOUNG IMMATURE BOYS ARE PINK/PURPLE 
(except the few that have to be difficult)



IF THERE ARE BARS ON THE HEAD AND THE CERE IS BLUE, EXPECT IT TO BE A GIRL. 

BABY BOYS ARE PINK! 

Another thing to remember is that 

ALL FEMALES GO BROWN! 
So even if you insist that your female is a boy you will eventually get confirmation.


I made the chart above to show the differences using real life budgies. The top two rows are all males, ranging from pink through to royal blue. The bottom two rows are all females - notice how they are blue? 

BUT, of course things can never be simple! There always has to be exceptions to any rule, and I currently own one. Little Buster. There are certain mutations (pieds & Lutinos for example) that will never go fully adult blue and they remain pink or pink & blue mottled all their life. Buster is a pied budgie and his cere remained pink long after the age when Reggie's went blue. It has now settled to be dark pink and dark blue combined, but mainly dark blue. Those hints of pink do not make him a female. Pink is not a female colour. Have I said it enough yet? 





Females can be a bit trickier when they are young as they may still have some of the baby pink around the edge, so you need to do some investigation. Are the nostrils white? Is there a blue hint to the cere? Is it generally uneven in colour? I've learnt over time that if in doubt, its probably a female. This little lady on the right is called Eva and lives with budgie_gang - you can see the pink tint but the nostrils are very obviously white and female. 


Where most confusion occurs tho, is not with boys being pink, its with females being blue. Again, this is when you have to look for the other features, texture and white nostrils, to determine whether the bird is a young immature female or a mature male. There is a distinct difference between the male blue and the female blue, but learning to look for the white nostrils will ensure you always get it right. 






These two lovely budgies are Bella and Bert. There are 3 months of age between them and they are a perfect example of boys and girls both being blue and looking very similar. Bella (on the left) you can see has a lighter blue cere, with white around the nostrils and a white border. Bert you can see has an even dark blue covering to the whole of the cere and not a hint of white.



If you look closely at this photo of Bella and Bert you can see where Bella's cere has started to go brown and the blue colour is starting to fade. Her cere is also starting to get more textured compared to Berts whose cere remains lovely and even. What a cute couple they are!! Since writing this Bella has gone from blue to brown several times with the seasons. 











Lets look at some more examples of boys and girls. 


The Boys




Reggie has demonstrated the perfect boy cere colour change. The photo on the left is when he was 8 weeks old, the middle photo was a few weeks later where you can see it is turning purple. On the right is 8 month old Reggie where he has a lovely royal blue cere. It has a uniform colour through each stage with no hint of white. You might notice the Raggie has slightly lighter nostrils, they are not white. When males are out of season their nostrils can sometimes be a lighter blue. 












 This is Ernie, he lives with the budgie_gang and is from the first clutch of babies one of my example females had. Yes it is a very light pink, but do not confuse this with the light blue/white colours that females have. He has a lovely pink cere that has an even colouration and no white on it at all.
















This is Jaydyn who lives with Artistic_arista. Look at that beautiful cere! Jaydyn is a lovely boy who has a blue and pink cere (I would love Buster to look like that!) He is not having an identity crisis, it's more a case of him trying to hang on to his youth as he is showing the baby pink and the adult blue colour - there is no white nostrils and if he were a female he would have a brown cere by this age. Remember pink = male!









These two handsome boys are Paulie (on the left) and Puffy, who live with their Conure brother Chico (Puffy_and_chico). Puffy was hatched May 2014 and Paulie was hatched February 2015. By now you would expected Puffy's cere to be a deep blue like his younger brothers but because he is a pied mutation, like my Buster, his cere has remained a lovely even pink. Paulie, like Reggie is classed as a 'normal' budgie and they follow the sexing rules you would expect. If Puffy were a girl you would definitely expect his cere to be brown by now. His cere will remain pink and will never go adult male blue. This does not make him a female as remember pink = male!





Look at the changes we have seen with Buster's cere, it has gone from a very light pink to a darker pink, to a purple/blue mess haha. I always knew he was a boy, and it's a relief that now all the people who doubted it can see he is (and hopefully learn something). I'm not sure why I care, but it was frustrating to be asked all the time 'Isn't the white one a girl?' even now when I post old photos and videos people ask me.

Ok, lets look at some ladies!




The beautiful little lady is called Do and she lives with 3 other birds as a flock 4budgieslife You can see the blue tint to the cere with the white nostrils. There is not single hint of pink/purple to indicate a male. We can tell Do is still a young budgie because she is clearly going through the moult on her head losing her baby lines, and her cheek blobs are all half moons further indicating that the blue is baby female blue and not adult male blue. 




This little lady is Rio, she is the sister of Do above. In this photo she is about 8 months old and she is still showing the baby female blue as she has not matured yet. Budgies mature at different speeds and by now you might start to expect to see the females adult colours come in (brown) Rio could confuse you as her age and appearance makes you think she is old enough to be a mature Male - but she is definitely a female because she has the white rings around her nostrils and the blue is very faint and not strong and even. There is also a slight hint of the brown coming in.







Here are Do and Rio together, they are similar ages but you can see that Do's cere is a very light beige color whereas Rio has a prominent blue cere still. Both will eventually go brown but both are showing the variations of the females.









On the right is a picture of a sweet little female budgie called Little G (
Parakeet_G). This photo shows the difference between 3 months old and 8 months old. Again, in the 3 month photo you can see the blue tint and the large white nostrils. As females mature their ceres begin to go brown and they also get rougher in texture. You can also see how she has lost lots of her head stripes and her dots have turned into lovely big blobs. When you compare Litte G to Rio of the same age there is a striking difference in their maturity.











This is Skyler and her boyfriend Barney. They are the parents of Ernie mentioned in the boys section above and they live in a flock of 8 birds as part of the budgie_gang hanging out in their owners bedroom (I don't know how she does it with 8 plus babies!!) Next to Barney you can see the very obvious adult female brown. Skyler is currently raising her second clutch with her boyfriend Barney!






Other ways to HELP possibly determine the sex of budgies:


Using the colour of the cere is always the recommended method for sexing a budgie. There are however, a few other differences between the sexes that you may notice, but remember these are less reliable than cere colour and not perfect rules.

Eggs: Only females lay eggs. (I hope you knew that already)


Body size: In general males tend to have a larger body and head than females.


Feet colour: In mature males (12 months and older) you might notice that the feet and legs have a blue tint to them. In females they tend to be pink/brown.


Chirping and Talking: Male budgies tend to be more active and vocal than female budgies. They usually have louder chirps that sound more like a song and females sound more abrupt and angry with their chirps. Or so I've been told - I have not owned a female budgie so I cannot say I have witnessed this.


It is not impossible for a female budgie to talk, and there are many out there that can speak. However this is a trait that is usually associated with males.


Lastly, don't be fooled by mating behaviours: Budgies are odd and they will play the dating game with anyone even if they are the same sex. Grooming and regurgitation is a sign of affection and is very common between all members of the flock regardless of sex. Have you ever seen your budgie spit up some seeds for its favorite toy? Also, females can mount males and show them how to do it ;)

I hope this post has helped you to sex your budgie, or it might have made you reconsider the name of the bird you currently own. I am not an expert (what makes someone an expert?), but I am happy to offer an opinion if you need one. Pop me a message on Instagram and I will do my best to help you sex your budgie. Only budgies though, I have no idea about other birds!! :D 

68 comments:

  1. I absolutely love your blog! I have two budgies myself (Clarence and Clive) I have had them for just over 7months but was never sure if they were male or female. I had my suspicions that they were both male but I could never find any resources that were as helpful as yours! I am now 100% sure that my two darlings are both male. Thank goodness for that! What would I change their names to if they turned out to be female? Please keep writing! I love reading your blog!

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    1. I am so pleased I could help!! Sexing can certainly be confusing so I've tried my best to clarify it as much as possible. Since updating this page I've seen some anomalies which I need to add as examples :)

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    3. This is THE BEST SEXING EXPLANATION EVER I WISH I HAD SAW BF I GOT MINE ACCORDING TO THIS I BET HES A SHE ! I wanted A male but for my second one i will DEF KNOW HOW TO OBTAIN INE THANK U I! I would love to private message u a pic of mine !!!

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  2. This is the most helpful thing I've ever read on budgies genders. You did a really good job, thanks.

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  3. Is there an email address i can you a picture of my budgie. Its 10 weeks old. The guy we brought it off said male but im pretty sure its female tha ks

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  5. Is there an email address i can you a picture of my budgie. Its 10 weeks old. The guy we brought it off said male but im pretty sure its female tha ks

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    1. I don't really want to give my email address on here. Have you got an Instagram page? Find us on there and send a photo....?

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  6. What a fantastic blog! I was very impressed with the efforts you took to explain and help people like me (first time owners) understand the gender of our lil budgies. And yes after 7months I now came to know my babybird is a female n not a male as I was told by the seller!
    I have a question if you could kindly answer..I want to get another budgie that I liked at the shop but he is a year old male. The one I have is a 7month old female..would they get along?

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    1. I'm very happy you like my blog, and more importantly that it helped you! :) A male and female do make for a good pair, you just need to swat up a little on how to avoid them breeding. Here is a really good website with a great page about how to avoid this; http://www.cutelittlebirdiesaviary.com/when-we-dont-want-eggs.html. Basically, as long as you don't provide a nest box and you act accordingly should they get frisky (reduce their protein and sunlight) you should have a harmonious couple. Females tend to be more boisterous than males, and you will probably witness some squabbles, especially if the male gets a bit frisky, but its all fine. Make sure you have a big enough cage to allow them to have their own space should they have a domestic. Good luck!

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    2. All females will not always go brown.

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  7. Truly very useful information. It cleared all my doubts. Thank you

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  8. Wonderful information, really helped a few deal, Thank you soooo much !!!

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  9. Hi, I read this whole page and love your blog.. unfortunately I'm still confused on one of my birdies...Zina I was told she was a female then a male etc...

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  10. Hi, i have a problem of identifying my birds gender, i have two bird with blue cere's, but they show all the behavior of a pair including nesting behavior. now i am confuse

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  11. Do you have an email address so I can send pics that way as I don't use Instagram kind regards xx

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  12. Is there anyway i can send you a picture of my bird? Im not sure of his sex.

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  13. It's truely useful information. Thanks you so much. This is my first time to breed budgies, but i confuse to established their gender btw ๐Ÿ˜€, i think the other people have a some problem too. Can we make group discussion please...

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  14. This is going to help me so much when we take the kids to Petsmart on Thursday (Valentine's Day) to pick out their very first MALE Budgie! We'll be naming him Qupid - Follow me on IG: XoJacquelineMarie - I plan on picking out two males (Blue in color bc thats what the kids want! Personally, I like Green Budgies)then letting the kids pick 1. We've got a mansion of a cage and I hope when we get Qupid that he is grateful, appreciative and generally happy to be part of our family! Xoxo

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  15. Thank you so much. Your blog is amazing. We had a budgie the seller told us she was 95% sure its male but sadly it's a girl. I can't breed so I had to return our one n got a male one today. It took us 1.5hours to make sure it's a boy. Well at the moment it has pink cere but no white around nostrils so we hoping it's a girl. My little girl plays with her budgie n kisses all the time. I think that's what happen to female one laid 2 eggs day apart is that normal. Can I follow you on Instagram. What is your Instagram please. You're just so good n very very clear.

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  16. I wish I could share a pic. I have a new baby who has just left the nest and it has me puzzled. I am thinking boy but though baby is a standard it's an unusual colour so not sure if that is affecting cere. The cere is a purple black. It's beak is also black mostly. And baby is a olive violet and blue mix

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  17. Thanks now i know if my budgies are a girl or a boy.

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  18. Can I please send you a pic of the birds we are fostering? We think we have 2 girls and a boy, but aren't too sure about one of them.

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  19. Hello! Can I please send you a baby budgie picture, from my phone? I need to know if male or female before we purchase! You can email me back and let me know at keehnteam@gmail.com
    Thank you very much.
    Loriann Keehn

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  20. Hello again, it's Loriann. I have photos to email you now if you could take a look at them and let me know if you think this baby is a boy or girl. It would save me a 300 kilometer trip to the breeder.
    Thank you! Loriann please email me at keehnteam@gmail.com if you can help me today!!

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  21. Thank you so much I thought I had a boy and girl ๐Ÿ˜”turns out by reading your post George is actually a girl as she has a very light blue cere with white edging. Thankyou for your blog it was so useful I now understand how to sex budgies for future purchases ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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    1. Just to double check thou ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ca. I send a pic to ur ema address?

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  22. Pls what’s your Instagram I’m having real problems with a male I’m sure is female

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  23. Thank you for this info. VERY helpful.I have 2 bugies believe they are both male (thanks to you).love their antics,wad told they are young..only the ceres will tell!! Thanks

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  24. Omg my baby Milo is a female! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

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  25. I cant still understand my one has a white...

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  26. Very good posts and thanks for the detailed pics. This will help us alot as a reference as we are now breeding lots of Show Budgies.

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  27. This was greatly appreciated. Instagram handle?

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  28. Awesome blog. Please do more of them on diet for budgies and maybe some hints on training. Thank you

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  29. I cant tell my female I think has features of both

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  30. I just got two budgies and sometimes I think I see white rings and then other times I don't. Can I send you pictures and show you and have you give me as definintive answer as you can? I need it for one to be a female though and I only have 30 days to return one of them.

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  31. I love ur blogs i also would love ur instagram name i would like to know the breed of my hen i was told rainbow but then was told she single spangle she currently has 4 babes

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  32. My budgie is 3months and has pinkish blue cere is it male?

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  33. Hi I would like to know if my budgie is a male , I think so because of the purplish on the bottom. Thanks in advance

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  34. My male budgies cere is violet in lower part and sky blue in upper part am I right?

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  35. Quite definitely the absolute definitive Budgie Sexing Blog..Thank you,I wasnt sure but now I,m 100%.
    Great knowledge.

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  36. Quite definitely the absolute definitive Budgie Sexing Blog..Thank you,I wasnt sure but now I,m 100%.
    Great knowledge.

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  37. Quite definitely the absolute definitive Budgie Sexing Blog..Thank you,I wasnt sure but now I,m 100%.
    Great knowledge.

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  38. I have a young parakeet and would like some help to see if it is a boy or girl where can I send a picture to

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  39. Hi I'm not on Instagram but would love some help to identify the budgie I'm about to buy? How can I contact you for some help?

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  40. Could I please email you pictures of my two budgies. One came from a breeder and we were told it was male. The other was rescued and has been terrorised by previous owners. We were also told it was a male but they had named it bluebell so had my suspicions but when we introduced them they seemed to be showing mating behaviour even though they are both apparently male .

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  41. Can we find two days old budgies gender

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  42. CAN SOMEONE PLESE HELP ME WITH MINE ?! I WAS TOLD BY THE PET STORE IT WAS A FEMALE...I WAS TOLD BY AN ONLINE VET THAT SHE WAS A HE. IVE TRIED COMPARING COLORS AND I JUST DONT KNOW.....DONT MIND THE BIRD POOP ON ITS BEAK...THATS THE WHOLE REASON I WROTE THE VET IN THE FIRST PLACE . WHERE CAN I SEND OR ATTACH A PICTURE?

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  43. My male budgie's cere is turning white. What should i do?
    Should i move him away from my other budgies?

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  44. What’s you Instagram I’m having difficulty with sex of my budgie. Can you help plz ?

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  45. All this a little budgie told me is PISSING ME OFF I want a straight answer are you showing me a picture of a male budgie or is a female budgie, GET TO THE POINT

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  46. All this a little budgie told me is PISSING ME OFF I want a straight answer are you showing me a picture of a male budgie or is a female budgie, GET TO THE POINT

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  48. Thanks alot. I really was confused about 2-4 months budgies gender. Very helpful article .. thanks again

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  49. My budgie I just got has a pink cere with white around the nostrils I'm thinking she's a girl??

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  50. Can you possibly help me with my budgie I think it's a girl and the top of her cere looks orange? Not sure if it's a cere change because of maturity or possibly a boy and I need to take him to a vet?

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  51. This was the informative information I have found. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
    My question is: What about an albino parakeet? Do the same rules apply regarding their cere?

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  52. I found your blog very helpful but still struggling to identify my 2 budgies if you don’t mind helping me I can send pics to your Instagram

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  53. Fantastic blog, but like Eve I too am still struggling to identify the sex of one of my budgies. Can I send a pic to instagram? Thanks so much.

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  54. my budgie has really pale yellow/white rings around their nose, but its purpleish blue, does that mean its female?

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  55. Thank you so much for this post! I think I figured out that our budgie is a boy when we thought it was a girl! Anyway to show you a picture for confirmation? ๐Ÿ˜‰ hehe

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  56. Thankyou for all the information ๐Ÿ˜Šit has been so helpful to me and my new babies.one question please,my babies momma died after babies left nest๐Ÿ˜ฉcan I put a new female in cage ?

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  57. Yes!!!Talk about quality!!! Thank you!!!!

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  58. Hi. Stumbled across your information while surfing๐ŸŒŠ for Budgies. I'm glad your facts make sense. Pictures help a lot also.
    Recently about a month and 2 weeks I got a mate for my boy. At the time of getting the other it was a decision of is it a girl? I was told the sameby budgie breeders the pink and blue theory but I did my own research and I decide due to the young age of the Budgie, well it had a white cere. Ok. Hmmm the breeder said I could swap if it was not the gender I wanted. I guessed I chose a female by the looks and personality. This experience I got 40 years ago when I was young and had an avairy of budgies. I watched them for hours and spent days and months with them.
    Thanks for your information,. Regards, Tibor.

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