Baby Budgie Day 04: Em & Sexual Dimorphism

Danny is apparently a girl. With Budgies it can be hard to tell. It's even harder when they are younger but then at about 4-6 months the space around their nostrils either becomes pink or blue - girl or boy. It changes even more when they are in "in season" or ready to mate. I never really knew what my other Budgies were so I just kinda picked a sex and name when I got them and didn't think of it much again. Although it did lead me to coming up with a new word that I think is actually a really good idea and quite useful.

When you don't know the sex of something and you don't use "it" you can say "Em" so instead of Him or Her you just use "Em." It is strange that English doesn't already have a word for this. It is also the reverse of ME - EM so it works that way as well in that you use it for anyone who isn't you/ Me. Em? It also is a more singular form or "them" thEM. But it can be plural or singular. So if you don't know if someone or something is a boy or girl you would say "Look at em, how cute!" Instead of "Look at her/him." or "Look at it."

I'm not going to lie when I realized that Danny was probably a girl I was a little disappointed. I purposely wanted to get a boy because I read that they are better talkers. So instead of researching that "fact" before I just automatically trusted it and decided I better get a boy. After thinking he, or em, might be a girl I took the time to research it and like so many other things it's not so black and white. In humans it's definitely not true that Girls are less talkative. But with birds it's different because it's usually the boys trying to attract the girls and one of the ways they do that is to vocalize and whoever is the 'best or loudest" gets the girl. It's also true with the brightest colors and other competing attributes. Since budgies sexes are mostly indistinguishable or they are not sexually dimorphic besides the color above their beak they use other behaviors to determine who to mate with.

Sexual Dimorphism is when the different sexes are much different. Eg: The the male bird is bigger and more colorful. 

My misunderstanding was that I knew "Pink means girl and blue means boy" but I didn't realize that when they were very young it was different. So when I saw one of Danny's siblings with a really pink beak I thought that meant "girl" and since "his" beak was more blue I thought that meant he was a boy - but it's actually the opposite. So Danny's actually looks just like the "young girl" which looks like a "mature male's" - sigh. I also just realized that I got the sex wrong on almost all of my past budgies.
Young Male
Young Girl

Mature Female

Mature Male

Something realllly interesting about Budgies is they are actually florescent! They have an extra type of eye sensor that allows them to see into the ultraviolet spectrum and they have feathers on their head and neck that 'glow' or at least are colored in a way that we can not see. It's kinda weird if you think about it - what do they see the world like? I imagine it also helps them navigate and see each other (at night?) - kinda of like the opposite of camouflage. It's usually the males that have this so it's one of their sexually desirable traits.

Anyways back to Danny being a girl. I read that it's mostly a myth that girls can't talk and that it's more about their individual personalities than anything else. So you could have a boy that is shy and not vocal and a girl that is extra talkative. So it's more along the lines of "Boys are bigger than girls -USUALLY" but that doesn't mean that ALL girls are smaller and there are definitely some girls that are much larger than boys. The biggest factor is the amount of time you spend with them and their individual personality. There is also a slight difference between the "English Budgies" and regular types. I'll get into that in another post.

Another thing I noticed that surprised me when I realized Danny's probably a girl is how I perceived her differently almost immediately. At first my disappointment was that I thought 'she' wouldn't be able to learn to talk which is one of the biggest reasons I got one. The other was in myself for not researching it more before hand.  It shows how our own biases or perceptions get projected on something that hasn't changed itself. I was thinking I should be gentler with 'her' because - she's a her - but yet what is the real difference? I didn't even know what sex my other budgies were and I treated them all the same - or at least based on their personality and looks. It was always a lesson in "gender equality" and how important or not important it was. They would also have their own little relationships and I never knew if they were boy/girl or boy/boy or girl/girl and since they never mated it didn't seem to matter. I wasn't like "Ohhh look they are gay!" because I didn't know what sex they were haha There is probably a moral to that story.

 One thing that does seem to be true about female budgies is they get "hormonal" and can act "bitchy" or bossy when they get older. This is true of most females (of all species) when it's "that time of the season" but it's also true of males who change their behavior due to hormone fluctuations. With budgies it's when their beaks change colors and they are in the "breeding zone."

An Elephant in Mustch (Man period) 

With Elephants the males go through what's called "Musk" (Opps "Musth)  and they have a surge of testosterone that makes them extremely aggressive, horny, and dangerous. They will drip liquid from their temples and their nether regions. Most people don't realize how much hormones affect behavior of almost all animals and especially humans. We tend to think that it's only women who are influenced by a hormone cycle but men go through them as well. I know that I get in weird moods where everything annoys me and I get aggressive and angry for no reason. I'm usually nice and passive but every once in a while I just want to start hitting things. With men their 'period" is less cyclical and more circumstantial. So unlike women who have stable monthly cycles men's can fluctuate and even be started by environmental causes. It's easiest to imagine when you think of how a man's behavior changes when they take steroids. It's like our bodies will secrete the same types of chemicals on a quazi - regular cycle but then also for other random reasons like other competition (other guys challenging you) or even subconscious scent hormones from women.. which is really weird to think about. That our moods are influenced by walking by other people and that all of this is happening on a subconscious/ anamalistic level.

I don't care if Danny is a girl em's staying "Danny" and I'm quite confident that em'll be the best talker ever! And if she gets a little moody from time to time - who am I to talk?
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