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Sexing Adult Pale-Winged Starlings Using Morphometric and Discriminant Function Analysis

Abstract : Accurate sexing of birds is vital for behavioral studies but can be a real problem in the field, especially for monomorphic species. Our goal here was to characterize the morphology of male and female monomorphic pale-winged starlings (Onychognathus nabouroup), a South African sturnid whose plumage is sexually monomorphic. Morphological measurements of genetically sexed animals indicated that males were statistically larger than females for five measurements: Mass, tail length, tarsus length and wing length. By using a Discriminant Function Analysis based on the measurements taken by one ringer, we were able to predict correctly the sex of 81.10% of the birds of data collected in the field and 77.9% of museum skins independently of year of capture and ringer. The model developed here should be useful for further field studies of this species
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Laurence Henry, Véronique Guyot-Biquand, Adrian J. F. K. Craig, Martine Hausberger. Sexing Adult Pale-Winged Starlings Using Morphometric and Discriminant Function Analysis. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (9), pp.e0135628. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0135628⟩. ⟨hal-01205355⟩

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