See, that brings me to a question... exactly WHEN do they molt? My tiel is just over 7 months now and while I have seen her lose feathers, I haven't seen a heavy molt yet. (At least not described as I'd heard with tons of feathers everywhere.) Is that normal or is that just at an older age?
Generally speaking the first molt occurs around 6 months and the second around a year. Sometimes however they vary their timing a bit and can also do a molt so slowly that it goes unnoticed. You say your bird has lost a few feathers here and there. Maybe yours is doing one of those sneaky molts. That's what Monkey is doing now. I see no evidence of a large amount of feathers being lost but his face is changing (so this would be his "6 month" molt). He's 6 months and 3 weeks old. I started noticing his face change about a month ago and it still has a long way to go. There are quite a few feathers in the aviary today but with 7 birds in there you never really know where they are coming from.
Thanks, Sue!! Second question then...she's a pearl...and I believe a she b/c she doesn't talk and whistle...but when would I know for sure? After her "sneaky" molt (teehee, I liked that, by the way!) or a year? Thanks again!!!!
If you see a few new feathers coming in at this point that are not pearled then you have a boy (they molt out all those beautiful feathers). If the new feathers that replace the ones she has lost are still pearled then it's a girl. At just over 7 months she should have replaced quite a few feathers by now and you would be able to see the change. Also the lack of singing at that age also points to female. If you haven't seen any of the typical male beak tapping and strutting around with wings akimbo either I'd say with a good deal of certainty YOU HAVE A GIRL!
Thanks, Sue! I always know I can ask you - you really know your tiels!!! I figured she was a she (teehee) cuz she never talks or whistles - just chirps and grinds and acts like she's trying to talk sometimes...and a few notes in whistling...but that's it. She still has her pearl mutation. Don't think anything's changed in that department at all. I knew the boys lose their pearl molt but I had originally wanted a pearl so I took a chance. I figured if it did lose it's pearl, at least it would probably whistle and talk...can't lose either way with a tiel, huh?
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