The common sandpiper is a small wader showing no sexual dimorphism in plumage and some dimorphism in size. Discriminant function analysis was applied to a set of morphometric traits of birds captured in Poland during migration. In total, 247 males and 111 females were measured and sexed molecularly. On average, females were larger in all measurements than males. The most sexually-dimorphic trait was wing length. Individuals with wing shorter than 111 mm were males and those with wing longer than 117 mm were females. These values are based on a large sample of individuals sexed molecularly and better describe the range of wing size characteristic of each sex compared with previously published works, where common sandpipers with wings longer than 115 mm were sexed as females. The best discriminant function included wing and tarsus plus toe lengths. The jackknife crossvalidation showed that this equation allowed for correct sexing of 77.1% of birds (87.5% of males and 54.1% of females). When identifying birds with this discriminant function, the values smaller than -0.33 indicate males, while greater than 1.26 indicate females. This allows for correct sexing of 95% of birds of each sex.
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Vol. 53 • No. 3–4