Last Updated on: 28th October 2023, 01:20 pm
Deciding whether to get a male or female parrot isn’t easy. Both sexes have different characteristics, so consider which physical and behavioral traits you want before choosing a gender.
Female parrots are smaller and more affectionate but quieter and have less vibrant feathers.
Male parrots are more colorful but usually larger, which can be an issue in small living spaces. Males are typically more outgoing, playful, and likelier to talk than females.
Some parrots aren’t sexually dimorphic, which means males and females look alike.
Do Male or Female Parrots Make Better Pets?
Some people prefer males due to their exuberant personalities and colorful plumage, whereas others like females due to their quieter personalities and diminutive physical stature.
We’ll explore male vs. female parrot behavior so you can make an informed decision:
If you’re considering getting a female parrot, factor in the following personality and appearance characteristics before committing to getting a pet bird:
Female parrots are usually smaller than males. Also, their bodies are slender, but their hips are wider to lay eggs. Parrots that aren’t sexually dimorphic will share morphological characteristics, including size.
Most females have flatter heads, which is one of the easiest ways to tell the sexes apart. Some owners prefer female parrots because their smaller stature means they occupy less space.
Female parrots have less colorful and vibrant feathers than males because males rely on their brightly-colored plumage to attract mates. Females don’t need to be as colorful.
According to Science Daily, female parrots are less colorful because they must be camouflaged when guarding their nests against airborne predators like hawks and eagles.
Males will likely be foraging for food during the day, leaving the female alone and unguarded.
Females are sometimes quieter and more affectionate than males. However, when females bite, they may do so harder than males, likely due to the need to protect their young from harm.
This doesn’t apply to all parrot species. For example, female Amazon parrots become aggressive during the spring, while other species become more loving and affectionate toward their owners.
While some owners enjoy the extra attention during this time, it can cause problems. Some parrots see their owners as mates and develop an inappropriate attraction toward them.
Laying eggs is demanding on female parrots. So, females need more nutrients (protein, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium) to produce healthy eggs with strong eggshells.
If a female doesn’t receive enough of these nutrients, it can become egg-bound, which is a life-threatening condition. Dystocia occurs when the female can’t release her eggs through the cloaca.
Many new parrot owners are surprised to discover unfertilized eggs at the bottom of the cage that don’t hatch. However, even a lone female parrot can lay eggs if her hormones are triggered.
Male and female parrots differ in the following ways:
Most male parrots have bigger, stronger, heavier bodies with larger, flatter heads. This size difference is because they need to win female attention against the competition of other dominant males.
This isn’t the case across all parrot species, as some match the size of males, but females are rarely bigger – they’re usually the same size, if not smaller.
Scientific American explains that the traits that assist male parrots are caused by natural selection.
Males rely on their bright feathers during mating season to look appealing. Feather color and quality indicate sound health, so the brighter the plumage, the more likely the parrot will have healthy offspring.
Male parrots enjoy playing more than females and are likelier to sing and talk. They may become less playful with their owners in the presence of another male bird, but this depends on their personality.
Despite their more outgoing nature, male parrots can become aggressive. Although they don’t bite as much or as hard as females, they can have more challenging care needs.
Do Male or Female Parrots Talk More?
There isn’t a definitive answer as to whether male or female parrots are better talkers.
Male cockatiels and budgies develop larger vocabularies than females. This is partly due to their instincts, as males tend to be more vocal in the wild.
Males are also more social, so they mimic the sounds of their flock. In captivity, their owners become part of their flock, so they mimic words.
However, this doesn’t apply to all parrots. While certain parrot breeds are more advanced talkers, females can be just as talkative as males. Female Amazons, African greys, and macaws are just as talented at mimicking words and phrases as their male counterparts.
A parrot’s personality, willingness to learn to talk, and bird-owner interaction are vital factors.
Parrots are less likely to learn to talk unless trained, so it takes an owner’s time, patience, and perseverance to develop this skill. If a parrot doesn’t want to learn to speak, it won’t do so.
Are Male Parrots More Aggressive?
Female parrots are more commonly regarded as gentler, calmer birds. However, the female is the more dominant and territorial gender in Eclectus parrots, but this is an exception to the rule.
That’s not to say that males are aggressive, but they’re seen that way due to their energetic, playful temperament. They’re also louder, which sometimes gives the impression of anger and hostility.
Similarly, males must assert dominance in the wild, particularly when finding a mate. Because captive parrots aren’t far removed from their wild cousins, pet parrots have retained these instincts.
For that reason, male parrots can sometimes become more temperamental during the breeding season. Socialization and regular human interaction can remove these behaviors over time.
When parrots become aggressive, they display the following behaviors:
- Raised crest.
- Ruffled feathers.
- Swinging from side to side.
- Standing still.
- Eye pinning.
Even if you intentionally choose a female parrot to avoid these behaviors, they’ll happen regardless of whether the environment’s suitable enough.
Parrots aren’t naturally aggressive. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice explains that wild parrots don’t bite when they fight, only attacking when facing extreme stress and fear triggers.
Similarly, some owners confuse aggression with playfulness. For example, if a parrot enjoys sneaking up on you and giving you a nip to get your attention, it’s just being playful with you.
Do Male Parrots Prefer Female Owners?
There are stories of male parrots behaving lovingly toward female owners but refusing to go near men. While there’s no scientific evidence to back up whether this is true, it makes sense in some scenarios:
- Previous background. A male may have abused it in another home.
- Fear levels. A man’s deep voice may trigger a fear response.
- Lack of socialization. If the male doesn’t spend time with the parrot, they won’t build a connection.
Although it may seem that parrots display biased tendencies toward females, it’s unlikely that they can recognize gender, let alone develop a preference for a woman over a man.
Socialization is the key to gaining a parrot’s love and affection, regardless of gender.
Owners who handle their parrots often, play together, and provide treats are likelier to find their birds gravitating toward them. Parrots can develop deep bonds if their owners take the time to forge them.