Efforts To Develop An External Aging And Sexing Technique For Common Snipe In Louisiana

Three hundred and two snipe were collected in an effort to evaluate proposed aging and sexing techniques and to determine a practical method of aging and sexing the common snipe by external characters. Thirty-one external variables were selected for measurement based on their potential to discriminate between ages or sexes of various birds as shown by past studies. The minimum percent misclassification of sexes (28.38%) and ages (22.64%) was obtained when the top 25 sex~ ing and top 22 aging variables were formulated into a discriminant function (Z), constructed so as to minimize the frequency of misclassification when used as a means of discriminating sex and age of snipe. These possible misclassifications were considered too great to accurately sex or age snipe. None of the variations noted in morphological characteristics or in feather color patterns, shades, tints, and shapes could be consistently and accurately related to differences in sex or age of snipe. Snipe in this study could not be accurately sexed or aged externally using techniques suggested in past studies.

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