In species of birds that exhibit no plumage dimorphism and only slight size dimorphism between the sexes, discriminant function analysis (DFA) allows researchers to predict the sex of individual birds using specific body measurements. This is the case with most sandpipers (Scolopacidae) and to date only Clark (1981) and Skeel (1982) have demonstrated that DFA can be used to predict the sex of monomorphic sandpipers. Clark (1981) mentioned the use of DFA to sex the nominate Dunlin subspecies (Calidris alpina alpina) in England during winter, but did not discuss how effective this technique was. In this paper we present a statistical model based on DFA that can be used to predict the sex of Dunlins (C. a. pacifica) in winter plumage. In addition we discuss the effectiveness and limitations of this technique for sexing Dunlins that winter on the Pacific coast of North America.
Brennan, L.A., J.B. Buchanan, C.T. Schick, S.G. Herman, and T.M. Johnson. 1984. Sex Determination of Dunlins in Winter Plumage. Journal of Field Ornithology 55(3): 343-348.