Visual Sexing of Senegals
Compiled by Rex Sheasby and Jean Pattison
Mature Senegal parrots can usually be sexed by careful
examination of the under-tail (ventral) coverts. Successfully doing so requires
an understanding of what to look for, and where. The pictures below illustrate
the three color patterns encountered.
An adult male Senegal with the typical pure yellow under-tail coverts. Mature males with even a hint of green in these feathers are quite rare.
An adult female Senegal with a mixture of green and yellow in the under-tail coverts. Even the slightest trace of green in these feathers indicates a female. It may be necessary to hold the bird upside down in a good light in these cases.
An adult female Senegal with mostly green under-tail coverts. Immature Senegals also have this appearance.
Mature male Senegals almost always have pure yellow under-tail coverts. The survey below will help the avicultural community determine just how rare males with some green in this area are.
Mature female Senegals usually have at least some green in the under-tail coverts, but the amount may be so slight that the loss of a single feather can make a female appear pure yellow. This means that there are a few females with the male color pattern.
Visual sexing is not 100% reliable, but no sexing method short of babies in the nestbox is 100% reliable. Even DNA sexing has been known to fail.
Isabel Taylor was told about the color differences in under-tail coverts by an unknown (to us) breeder. She wrote about it in the newsletter of the Smoky Mountain Cage Bird Society, but we were unable to obtain a copy. One of us (Rex) mentioned visually sexing Senegals in an article ("Senegal Topics") in the Dec. 1991 issue of Bird World..