Sexing immature Mauritius Fodies Foudia rubra using biometrics and delayed plumage maturation

  • A Cristinacce
  • RE Cole
  • CG Jones
  • RVV Tatayah
  • DJ Bell

Abstract

There is currently no reliable, affordable method of sexing Mauritius Fodies in their first non-breeding season. Ringed immature fodies from a released population on an offshore island were caught in April and May 2005 and sexed in later breeding seasons. Males had longer wing lengths and tarsi than females, with no overlap in wing length between sexes. Males in their first breeding season could usually be differentiated from older males by the paleness and completeness of their breeding plumage. Two adult females grew red feathers characteristic of breeding males in the winter of 2006. It is possible to sex Mauritius Fodies using wing length and separate immature males from adults using the darkness of the bill in the non-breeding season. It is not possible to separate unringed adult and immature females following the postjuvenile and postbreeding moults using current knowledge.

OSTRICH 2010, 81(2): 135–137

Author Biographies

A Cristinacce
Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Grannum Road, Vacoas, Mauritius;  School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
RE Cole
Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Grannum Road, Vacoas, Mauritius
CG Jones
Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Grannum Road, Vacoas, Mauritius; Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Les Augres Manor, Trinity, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK
RVV Tatayah
Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Grannum Road, Vacoas, Mauritius
DJ Bell
School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525