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1 December 2012 Sexing Adult and Nestling Red-Shouldered Hawks Using Morphometrics and Molecular Techniques
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Abstract
Sexing of raptors is important for understanding their ecology and demography. Males and females of monomorphic species such as Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus) may be distinguished using molecular and morphometric techniques. We collected blood samples and morphometric measurements from adult and nestling Red-shouldered Hawks in southern Ohio. We determined sex via amplification of the sex-linked chromo-helicase-DNA-binding gene and polymerase chain reaction. We used a suite of morphometric measurements to generate a recursive partitioning classification tree and in a linear discriminant analysis to determine the sex of adults and nestlings. For adults, the recursive partitioning tree utilized only mass to distinguish sexes, with an overall successful classification rate of 94%. For nestling hawks aged approximately 3 wk and older, mass and toepad (footpad) length were used to distinguish the sexes, with an overall successful classification rate of 91%. The ability to sex adults and nestlings in the field is valuable for studies of dispersal, survival, and behavior.
Cheryl R. Dykstra, Herman L. Mays, Jeffrey L. Hays, Melinda M. Simon and Ann R. Wegman "Sexing Adult and Nestling Red-Shouldered Hawks Using Morphometrics and Molecular Techniques 1," Journal of Raptor Research 46(4), (1 December 2012). https://doi.org/10.3356/JRR-11-84.1
Received: 17 November 2011; Accepted: 1 March 2012; Published: 1 December 2012
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