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How to Tell a Male Green-Cheeked Conure From a Female

i Chad Baker/Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Some bird species have physical characteristics that let you easily distinguish between male and female -- for instance, the differently colored ceres, or nostrils, on parakeets. Many, however, have no visible differences between the sexes, making it impossible to tell a male from a female just by looking. Male and female green-cheeked conures are so alike that DNA testing's your best bet of determining gender.

DNA Testing

Male and female green-cheeked conures have no obvious external differences that let you distinguish one from the other. They even behave much the same. DNA tests, however, can reveal the gender of your bird. Testing can be done on either a blood sample or a feather sample. The feather must be freshly plucked and contain enough tissue for testing. Only your veterinarian should take a blood sample for testing. Feather samples can be taken at home, following the express instructions in the testing kit. Kits can be obtained from your veterinarian, online or at bird-centric pet stores. The samples are mailed to a testing lab, where techs analyze your conure's DNA for sex chromosomes.