Q: How To Tell The Gender of a Green Cheek Conure?


A: You may be asking yourself, is my green cheek conure a boy or a girl? There are many ways to tell the gender of a green cheek conure, though as green cheek conure breeders will tell you, DNA sexing is the most reliable way to tell a green cheek conure's sex. 

If you want to know how to tell if a green cheek conure is male or female, and don't want to (or can't) pay for green cheek conure gender determination by DNA sexing, here are some signs to tell the gender of your bird.


Is A Green Cheek Conure Male or Female - Look At The Feet!

I haven't seen this information posted elsewhere, so I'll put it out there. I looked at my green cheeked conure's feet one day and wondered why my bird has pink feet, while other identical green cheek conures have grey feet.

I looked up multiple pictures of green cheek conures on google images, and to my surprise - most of the female green cheek conures seemed to have pink feet, and the male green cheek conures more often than not had grey toes! I'm not certain how accurate this method is, but as one who spends way too much time studying birds, this seems to be a reliable way to Tell The Gender of a Green Cheek Conure in combination with other gender clues. An example of baby feet from hatching lies below:




(image courtesy of pamperedpeeps website.)

3 Surefire Ways to Tell a Green Cheek Conure's Gender:

1.) Tell if a Green Cheeked Conure is a Boy or Girl by Head Shape. This is another gender determination method for green cheek conures that should be taken with a grain of salt. However some will tell you that the more "soft" or "rounded" the head of the green cheek conure is, the more likely it is to be a female green cheek conure. The more "flat" headed green cheek conures are normally the male green cheek conure. However every green cheek conure is different, and some birds may be exceptions to this male or female gender identification method.

2.) Boy or Girl Green Cheek Conure by Pelvic Examination. Some breeders will do a pelvic examination of a green cheek conure and attempt to find the gender of a green cheek conure before it leaves the shop. Again, this method to determine the gender of a green cheek conure is not always 100% accurate.

However if you wish to find out if your green cheek conure is a boy or girl, take your bird (gently!) in your hand and again gently feel down the breast bone until it the bone formation splits (or not) right before the cloaca (vent) of the bird.

The reasoning is that the hip bones will be wider and rounder in female green cheek conures, who have to pass eggs through their vent. In males, the structure will be closer together, and "sharper."



Myself, about to do a pelvic bird examination
3.) DNA Sex Your Green Cheek Conure at the vet. As emphasized, the very best way to tell the gender of a green cheek conure is DNA sexing by your veterinarian, either by feather or blood DNA sexing methods. Veteranary surgery is an option for gender identification, but I don't recommend the surgery method to find out a green cheek's gender, as this can put unneeded stress on the bird.
Take these bird gender clues with a grain of salt, but if you notice one or more signs together that your bird is a boy or girl, you can probably start leaning toward calling your green cheek either "Joe" or "Josephina."


Conure Breeds, Foot Color, and Gender

 Yes, different parrot breeds can have different foot colors, but with two parrots of the same breed and color (like two pineapple green cheek conures) one pink foot and one grey foot is an indication of a girl and a boy, due to hormonal changes.

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26 comments:

  1. You cannot tell the gender of a green cheek by the foot color. Many mutations have lighter colored feet. Look at these pictures, there is no difference in foot colors between genders in the mutations and the wild colored birds all have dark feet. http://feathert.com/greencheekgenetics.html

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    1. I was also taken aback at that method. I'm sorry but that is not a way to determine the sex. The color of the feet and beak is due to the color mutation and not the sex. I have both pink feet males (cinnamons, yellow sided), as well as dark feet females (normal). Also, the pelvic sexing is out as a determining factor. I have 3 breeder birds that were originally sold to me as males and everyone turned out to be female. I DNA sex all of my birds unless a breeder that I bought them from was kind enough to do it before I bought them. All 3 breeders were "positive" that I was purchasing males and not one was right on using the pelvic spacing. I have also heard about the head shape and after doing my own observation with all of my birds, that method can also be ruled out. If some people use any of the above methods, they might get it right just by luck. Unless you have certain mutations that can be used to determine sex, it's a huge guessing game without the DNA test.

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    2. I just want to put out there I have a Sun conure and a green cheek conure. They were both dna tested males. They are now laying eggs!

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  2. First. I must say, I just loved your manner of your post.... really enjoyed that.

    Here's my personal experience.

    Lays an egg: FEMALE! :) (seriously, been there)

    Secondly... if the bird goes into "macho mode", it's male.
    By macho mode, I mean, some of the movements are ONLY by males..
    i.e. moving the wings out to the right and left and kinda UP, then moving the body back and forth.... THAT'S MALE. That's the male dominate stance.

    That being said.... we have a "new to us" green cheeked Conure.... ok, has the dark feet.. extremely sweet and cuddly... but, it's only been 1 week that we've had... *cough* him/her.... so far, no egg... no "male" movement! LOL

    So we're not sure yet... But let me say this... we've had many diff. birds... this is our 1st Conure... and seriouly... WHAT A SWEETHEARD! LOL

    We may never find out if our new addition to the family is Male or Female... but honestly.... WHO CARES? What wonderful birds they are... a welcomed addition to our brood! LOL :-)

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    1. Another bogus method of determining sex. My 4 year old cinnamon GCC female does all of those things. She is very animated and does the back and forth and up and down, which I call what she does "boogying down dancing". My male that she is bonded with does not do that at all. I'm not sure where people come up with these determinations for sexing but if that is what you use, you will very disappointed to find out that Ricky is really Lucy!

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    2. when you said that moving the wings out to the right and left and kinda UP, then moving the body back and forth.... THAT'S MALE. That's the male dominate stance mine did that but then stuff came out its mouth

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  3. oooops... sorry... that should be sweetheart

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  4. This website isn't helpful to me at all!!!! I was wanting to get another green-cheeck to breed! I cant tell if the one i have is male or not!! I was also gonna check my freinds greeen-cheeck(the one im gonna use for breeding). Try to come up with more useful info. Thks.

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    1. It cost $19.50 DNA sex a bird through Avian Biotech, in Tallahassee, FL. Go to their website and order some free testing kits. You can use the blood sample or feather testing. I prefer the blood testing, which is obtained by clipping a toe nail a little short so it bleeds, not a lot of blood is needed at all, just a couple of drops. Keep some styptic powder and as soon as you get the sample dip the cut toe nail in it to stop the bleeding almost immediately. The feather sample requires plucking several live feathers, which to me is more painful for the bird so I don't use it. The feather test cost a little more also. As soon as they get your sample they result it and you have the results usually the same day they receive it or at the lastest the next day. Do not use guess work or you will be disappointed in your guessing, lol.

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  5. DNA sexing is the only fool proof method

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  6. Mr. Mango and Lil' Kiwi in AlabamaFebruary 13, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    I thought this was a great article! Obviously, you're not taking yourself too seriously and "anonymous" up there should see a vet if they want a definitive answer. Why post anything at all if it's going to be negative.. :) I just purchased a second conure (our first came DNA tested and is male) - this one, although purchased at the same place - is unknown. Their personalities are totally different and this one is a complete sweetheart and cuddler! Our male is a paler shade (with pink feet) and this one has darker/brighter/more vibrant colors also with pink feet. I guess we'll just have to wait and see! For now, her (we're calling it a her because we'd like it to be a Mrs. to our Mr. just because it's a cute idea) name is Kiwi.

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  7. You can tell by the color of the feathers on those babies that they're different mutations. The one on the left is a normal, while the one on the right is a cinnamon. Normal GCCs always have the dark grey toes, regardless of sex, while cinnamons have pink toes (because they lack the dark pigmentation). Feeling the pelvic bones can be accurate only if the owner has "felt up" enough other birds to know the differences between male and female. It's particularly tricky with the little guys because the differences between the two are so small. Your best bet is always DNA sexing. It isn't terribly expensive; Avian BioTech is one of the biggest companies that offers the service and they're pretty affordable.

    Still a fun article to read, though. :)

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    1. I breed straight green cheek vonures and the babies are always gcc, there is no sign of any other mutation, yet I have noticed before seeing this article that some of my babies get grey feet about a month before other babies with pink feet. So I have noticed that my gcc do get grey feet but some take longer than other despite normal development in all other areas

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  8. When they get old enough you can usually tell from thier movements. Girls put thier tails to the side and back their butts into things. Boys do this kind of hover dance. Most birds once they reach sexual maturity act out thier mating patterns.

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  9. i have a gcc and he/she jumps up & down or back & fourth have a biting thing going on right now also with dark feet, acting like a male right now, so i'm wondering do u thinks it's a male or female.

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    1. Hi, I think your conure is male green cheek conure based on the dark/grey feet. You might want to get DNA testing to be sure. Did you ever find out if it's a male green cheek or a female green cheek conure?

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    2. Again, the feet color does not determine the sex unless it is a certain color mutation! The dancing and other things also does NOT determine the sex. I have been breeding GCC for many years and all of the methods that are in this article are NOT reliable for determining sex of the GCC. ALL normal colored GCC have dark feet and beaks no matter what sex they are.

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  10. My GCC Kiwi stands on one leg and extends one wing. Is this a male behavior?

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    1. NO, it's a bird behavior, not particular to one sex or the other.

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  11. Hi there, you when your green cheek stands on one leg and extends a wing, he/she is just stretching! All birds do it. It's neither a male or a female behavior.

    Thanks for the excellent question. If you have any more let me know :)

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  12. My GCC is female she was DNA tested and she has black feet and black nails.

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  13. OK so i tried pelvic sexing like you said but i did it a little difrent because i heard that they squeeze the vent with chickens and if it has bumps it's a boy. i think the vent had bumps but im not sure. Does anyone know how to sex a green cheek conure by the vent like this?

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    1. I have a GCC that the breeder said was a male, with it's narrow and very pointed pelvic bone, but I decided since I was going to use it as a breeder to DNA sex it. Well, this breeder needs to use a accurate testing method, because it ended up being a female. I don't care how long a person has been raising birds and try to convince me that they can determine the sex using this method, I have yet to find a breeder that can get it right.

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  14. Anonymous seriously who do you think yu are

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  15. My normal colored GCC is a female with pink feet. They were black until she was bred

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  16. When I bought my GCC the breeder did the feather pluck DNA method and it came back that my GCC is a female. Her feet are dark not pink. When I go to pet stores I always look at the GCC's and I noticed that some have larger bodies and large feet and some have small bodies and small feet (seen both types with both colors of feet). Mine has a small body and small feet and she's 5 years old. Is it possible that males are bigger bodies and bigger feet than the females?

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