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

A Cristinacce, RE Cole, CG Jones, RW Tatayah, DJ Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-137
Number of pages3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2010

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