Ageing and Sexing Series

In 2007 the IWSG began publishing papers providing species specific guidelines for the ageing and sexing of shorebirds. The aim is to build this into a comprehensive series of papers enabling ageing and sexing of waders in the hand. More information can be found here (download PDF). The series editor, Wlodek Meissner, is keen to hear from any researchers and ringers with experience of wader who might be interested to write future papers. IWSG can offer help with paper writing if requested. Please email Wlodek with any questions.

The series so far...

Listed on the right are the species for which papers have been published to date. Note that moult patterns and ageing and sexing criteria may vary among populations of a species, so if your study population differs from the details provided in these papers, we would like to hear form you. If you study a species not listed here, please contact Wlodek to discuss manuscript options.

Papers are only available to logged in online users with current membership status. If you have not yet registered for an online account, click the Register button at the top of the screen. If you would like to subscribe to IWSG, and gain access to these and other online resources, join here.

Grey Plover ageing and sexing (painting by Tomasz Cofta). from part 10 of the series.

Grey Plover ageing and sexing (painting by Tomasz Cofta). from part 10 of the series.

  1. Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima – This paper is based on the authors’ experience from Iceland.
  2. Woodcock Scolopax rusticola – This paper is based on the authors’ experience of European specimens
  3. Dunlin Calidris alpina – This paper is based on the authors’ experience and published sources about Dunlins from subspecies shinzii, alpina and probably also centralis; however at least some of the ageing methods presented may be applied to other subspecies, especially those based on presence of juvenile feathers in first winter or in the second breeding plumage.
  4. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius – Data presented here concern the curonicus subspecies and are based mainly on information from Central Europe and Africa gathered during the breeding, migration and wintering periods.
  5. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago – Based on field studies throughout the year in central and W Europe, we present all known ageing and sexing criteria for the nominate subspecies of the Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago gallinago.
  6. Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia – The data presented here concern Greenshank from Europe and Africa throughout the annual cycle. Thus these descriptions should be applied to other populations, especially eastern populations, with caution.
  7. Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula – The data presented here concern Ringed Plover from Europe belonging to subpecies hiaticula and tundrae throughout the annual cycle. The ageing and sexing criteria we describe should be applied to other Ringed Plover populations with caution.
  8. Piping Plover Charadrius melodus – Based on field studies throughout the year in North America, coving both subspecies
  9. Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
  10. Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola