Since our topic this week is ‘Budgie Cere Chart’, we will be talking about different colors of ceres and problems that may appear, and we will share some tips with you related to the distinction between male and female budgies. Stick around with us to find out all about your budgie’s cere!
At what age does a budgie’s cere change color?
In the beginning, it might be good to clarify what a cere is. The cere is ‘the piece of flesh that covers the top of the beak’ (Harris, 2022). The cere consists of keratin and blood vessels. The point of the budgie’s cere is to judge the budgie’s sex, maturity, and health.
Do not think that cere is not important. If you want your budgie to stay hydrated, then pay attention to the condition of its cere. For additional information, read the final topic of our article and you will find out more about problems that may occur.
When your baby budgie is born, its cere is pink. At that stage, females and males have the same cere color. Once they are 2 or 3 weeks old, they adopt different colors based on their gender. Male baby budgies usually adopt ‘rose, purple or blue’ ceres (Iseli, 2021). Female baby budgies can adopt from white to brown colors. Later, things change as time goes by.
Final changes happen when your budgie is 1 year old. This is usually a sign that your budgie is mature. It happens gradually. When it comes to females, their pink cere becomes white or tan. When it comes to males, their cere becomes light blue. This is what happens most commonly, but there are also other cases when your budgie may adopt other colors. This is also completely normal although very rare.
How can I tell if my budgie is male or female?
The easiest way to make a distinction between a male and female budgie is by inspecting the color of their cere. We will tell you which colors are characteristic of male and female budgies. This will make it much easier for you and that is why we are here!
Male cere colors are usually ‘rose, purple, or blue’ (Iseli, 2021). Female cere colors are ‘tan, white, grey-blue, very light blue, and brown’ (Iseli, 2021).
One more interesting thing is that females and only females have a white circle around their nostrils. Sometimes it may happen that it takes a lot of time for your budgie to adopt a color. So, do not worry but rather be patient! There is nothing wrong with your budgie. They just need some extra time and that is totally okay.
In order to illustrate, we will show you an example. Cinnamon-colored budgies are immensely popular. The color of their feathers goes from brown to white, green, and yellow. There is one specific thing about them and that is why we have mentioned them. Their cere is usually pink no matter whether they are male or female. This means it is tricky to reveal their gender.
Another example would be the albino budgie. The albino budgies can be white or yellow because of the lack of melatonin. Their cere is ‘pink to very light lavender’ no matter whether they are male or female (Iseli, 2021).
Another way to tell if your budgie is male or female is by relying on their behavior. We do have to mention that this is not the best method but sometimes it can help. Male and female budgies behave differently and we will cover their main behavioral distinctions.
Female budgies sing and bite a lot. Some even say that their bite is much more powerful than a male’s bite. Also, what happens is that female budgie like to be dominant and this is what misleads many people to think that their budgie is a male. Female budgies could climb onto the male but this is just a way for them to display their dominance.
Female budgie cere color change
As we already mentioned, a budgie’s cere color is an indicator of its sex, maturity, and health. Your budgie’s cere color is either changing due to maturity or breeding season. The change due to these two factors is not massive so if you notice any big changes contact your vet. It may signify that your budgie is sick.
When your female budgie is ready for breeding, its cere becomes brown or tan. Their cere is usually brown but it can adopt other colors. For instance, in rare cases, it can be white or light blue. This can happen due to mutations or hormone imbalance.
Pink cere budgie
Baby budgies have a pink cere during the first two or three weeks of their lives. Later, they adopt other colors or the color of their cere never changes and stays pink.
If your budgie has a pink cere throughout its life, it means you have a male budgie. Male budgie’s cere does not change if your budgie is ‘albino, lutino (yellow with pink or red eyes), dark-eyed, clear or recessive pied’. There are fallow budgies that are ‘pastel-colored individuals with reddish eyes’.
Budgie cere problems
Your budgie can have cere problems and we will first tell you what a healthy cere looks like. Budgie’s cere is ‘flat and smooth (males) or slightly curved and crusty (females in breeding conditions).
The first problem that can appear is hyperkeratosis. This means that your budgie’s cere resembles a small horn. This can happen if an extra amount of keratin accumulates on the top of the cere. Most females develop this condition due to high levels of estrogen. Because of this condition, your budgie’s nostrils may be obstructed. It is much worse if your budgie develops an infection. The sign of an infection is when budgie’s cere has brown crusts.
Budgie’s cere always has to be moisturized. If it is dry or irritated, then your budgie can develop an infection. This can happen for multiple reasons. Here are some of the most common causes.
If your budgie does not drink enough water, its cere can become dry. If you can, try to check your budgie’s water intake. The second reason is if your budgie’s meals consist of an excessive amount of carbohydrates. The third reason could be an infection due to the presence of bacteria and parasites. Budgie’s cere can be ‘red, swollen, ulcerated with pus coming out of it’ besides being dry. If the cere is infected, then you may smell ‘a foul odor’. If it is irritated, then you may notice redness and swelling.
What can also happen is bleeding. This usually happens because of cuts on their tongue or choking. Your vet needs to assist immediately to stop the bleeding.
If you notice a peeling cere, pay attention to your budgie’s diet. There may be the cause but also it could be your budgie’s ‘lack of preening or incomplete preening’. In the few next lines, we will list some of the most common conditions that your budgie can develop.
First, we will cover hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is a condition where ‘the cere might start to grow away from the beak, curl up slightly, appear raised or change shape’. In order to treat this, you have to take your budgie to the vet.
The scaly face is another condition caused by mite Knemidokoptes pilae. It principally attacks your budgie’s cere. Symptoms that appear are ‘scratching and crusty growth’. This might one of the most serious conditions and it can cause your budgie’s cere to fall off.
The most serious condition is testicular cancer in budgies. The main symptom of testicular cancer is that your budgie’s cere becomes purple-brown. Of course, this is common for male budgies. As Dr. Reavill puts it, the key is the early diagnosis and the use of Lupron injections (n.d.).
Besides sicknesses that your budgie can develop, your budgie may suffer cere injuries. This usually happens if you have more than one budgie. Two budgies sometimes can get in a fight and they leave with cere injuries. Another cause could be if your budgie strikes your window. If they bleed a lot, take me to the vet. Do not wait!
Be aware that cere problems are usually not that serious. You can solve all of these problems with the help of your vet. Sometimes all it takes is just a spray prescribed by your vet.
The conclusion is that your budgie’s cere is a sign of your budgie’s overall health. Many people might think that cere is not that important, but after reading this article, we hope you noticed how important your budgie’s cere is. Stay tuned for our next topic!