Sexing of common gull, Larus canus, using linear measurements

Włodzimierz Meissner , Izabela Fischer


The common gull is a widespread species, occurring in almost the whole of Europe that shows no sexual dimorphism in plumage and some dimorphism in size. To propose a method for sexing birds from this species by linear measurements, a discriminant function analysis was applied to a set of morphometric traits in birds captured in northern Poland during the non-breeding season. In total, 138 males and 76 females were measured and sexed molecularly. The averages of measurements of males were larger than the average measurements of females. All individuals with a total head length shorter than 90.6 mm were females. However, the occurrence of larger individuals of the subspecies heinei among common gulls of the nominate subspecies canus wintering in Europe makes separating males according to a single border value of this measurement less efficient. The proposed discriminant function containing the total head length allowed for correct sexing of 95.7 % of males and 90.9 % of females. This discriminant equation may be used for sexing common gulls when DNA sampling is not possible, and could be applied to data collected in the past, providing the opportunity to re-examine the results of previous analyses. However the higher misclassification rate than in other gull species should be taken into account.
Author Włodzimierz Meissner (FB / DVEZ)
Włodzimierz Meissner,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
, Izabela Fischer (FB / DVEZ)
Izabela Fischer ,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
Journal seriesFolia Zoologica, ISSN 0139-7893, (A 20 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishgulls, sexual dimorphism, discriminant functions
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)20
ScoreMinisterial score = 20.0, 26-02-2018, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 20.0, 26-02-2018, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 0.739 (2) - 2016=0.822 (5)
Citation count*
Share Share

Get link to the record

* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.