How do you determine the sex of white doves?


Kyle Jaster, Did some research

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Most species of doves and pigeons are notoriously hard to sex by external appearance, and even experts can be fooled by behavior. You can sex doves with two approaches: vent sexing and behavioral sexing.

The idea in vent sexing is simply to open the cloaca and look for the opening of the oviduct (female) on the bird's left side, or for the openings of the two sperm ducts, right and left (male). The main problem is to find a good tool to spread the vent without damage: the best tool is a nasal speculum. In use, the speculum should be clean. A female with an egg in the oviduct may be injured by the instrument's use, so palpate for an egg first. If an egg is there, you know it is a female anyway. Insert the speculum closed, while the birds is held head down, feet on your belt. The last three fingers hold the bird's wings and body; the thumb and forefinger hold back the tail and vent feathers. It may be helpful to pluck some of the vent feathers. Now open the speculum and pull back (tilt) slightly so that the cloaca is wide open. If the light is good and the birds is mature, the oviduct will show as a whitish circle on the birds's left (female), or one of the sperm ducts will stick out as a reddish conical point (male). This method has been shown to work for 30 different dove and pigeon species.

Most people depend on behavior to distinguish sexes in doves and pigeons. Experienced fanciers need only spend few minutes observing behavior among a group of birds to decide which is what sex. If the birds are adjusted to their cage and in an appropriate part of the reproductive cycle, usually one observation period will allow an accurate differentiation of sex. But not all of us are experienced. So just what are the behaviors that can allow us to infer the sex?

  1. The bow-coo. Only males give bow coos under ordinary conditions, however, females long isolated from males may do so irregularly. This is the fastest coo in courting behavior, and is always directed at a particular bird with an accompanying head bow. The feet often alternate in "stamping". Perch coos and nest coos are slower and softer and the nest coo is always accompanied by wing "flipping". Perch coos and nest coos may be given by both sexes.

  2. Billing. The female may put her bill inside the males mouth after squab-like begging movements and be fed token amounts.

  3. Sex crouch. To culminate courtship in mated pairs, the female will squat down, tuck her head in close and raise her shoulders preparatory to supporting the males feet.

  4. Sex-mount. (Treading) The male repeatedly cranes his neck above the female (which is in a sex crouch). He may sporadically "preen" between wing tips and rump, fluff rump and posterior feathers, then mount the female, both facing the same direction. The tail of the male bends and swings and his wings flutter to maintain balance. Within seconds the cloaca meet in quick copulation. The "laugh" or challenge note normally is given immediately after copulation by both sexes. A long isolated pair of females may mount each other.

  5. Display flight. the male flies upward wing claping, then glides down. Since our birds are seldom free flying, we rarely notice this character.

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