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Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11457
Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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My budgie's cere has started changing colour. I will get him

Customer Question

Hello, my budgie's cere has started changing colour. I will get him to see his avian vet this week (they are closed as we are having a long weekend here in Western Australia). Just to put my mind at ease, could I ask your advice in the meantime?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Blessing and he is almost four years old. I have photos of his cere.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Blessing?
Customer: He is a single bird with a surrogate mate of a toy that he likes to masturbate with. I only mention this because I have been reading about the possibility of testicular cancer with the cere colour change. He is still masturbating regularly.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in avian health. I'm sorry to hear that Blessing is having a problem.Cere color changes in males most often have to do with changing hormone levels. If the cere is turning light, beige, or pinkish, it usually means testosterone is decreasing. Testicular cancer can be one cause of that, and it is, unfortunately, a fairly common cancer in budgies. However, there are other conditions that can result in falling testosterone levels and/or cere color changes. Endocrine disorders and certain parasites are two of those. If the texture of the cere is changing, that can indicate parasites, but there would also be signs of them on the beak.The fact that Blessing is still masturbating doesn't really tell us anything. Masturbation can become a habit in single birds, regardless of their hormone levels. Both males and females will do it.All we can do is speculate; you'll need to have that vet exam after the weekend to find out exactly what is going on. The vet may need to do some blood work to reach a diagnosis. Your concerns about cancer are valid, but there are some other possibilities.If you want to send your pictures, I'll be glad to take a look at them. You can upload them by clicking on the paper clip icon in the tool bar at the top of the space where you type. Instructions will pop up.I hope it will turn out that Blessing is fine.Anna