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Woodcock age and sex determination from wings

June 16, 2010

Age of woodcock (Philohela minor) can be accurately determined throughout the year by differences in pattern, color, and wear of secondary feathers. Immature woodcock retain most secondaries during the postjuvenal molt that begins in July or August and ends in October. In contrast, subadults (first-year adults) and older woodcock molt all secondaries during the postnuptial molt beginning in June or July and ending in October. Retention of juvenal secondaries by immatures and molt of these feathers by adults form the basis for age determination. Sex of woodcock can be accurately determined by width of the outer three primaries, which are conspicuously narrower on males.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1964
Title Woodcock age and sex determination from wings
Authors F.W. Martin
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Wildlife Management
Index ID 5220446
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center