Bird Banding Laboratory



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Sex Codes and How Sexed Codes

Sex Codes

0 U Unknown
4 M Male
5 F Female
6 m Male, sexed upon recapture
7 f Female, sexed upon recapture


How Sexed Codes

(Codes marked as "current" represent new codes in version 4 of Bandit. Until v.4 is released, continue to use "discontinued" codes)
BO Behavioral observation current Includes singing, incubation, mating/copulation, etc.
BP Brood patch current Use only with females
CC Combination of characteristics/measurements current Characteristics or measurements that, alone would not be usable. Describe in Remarks
CL Cloaca current Waterfowl cloacal exam, male cloacal protuberance, distended cloaca of female shorebirds.
DN DNA/chromosome analysis current
EG Egg in oviduct current Sex F only
EY Eye color current Iris color, also presence/absence of flecks in Black Oystercatcher eyes
FS Feather Shape (Primaries or tail) current Useful with hummingbirds, woodcock, snipe
IC Inconclusive, Conflicting current To be used with sex "U" only
LL Laparotomy/laparoscopy current Requires specific authorization from BBL/BBO
MB Mouth/bill current Refers to mouth/bill color, shape, or culmen length, depending on species
NA Not attempted current To be used with sex "U" only
OT Other current Explain how sexed in Remarks
PL Body Plumage current Color of or patterns in body feathers, including head, breast, back, coverts.
RC Sexed upon recapture current Used for birds that are banded at a time of year when they can't be reliably sexed, but are recaptured later when they can be.
TL Tail length current Use with caution for sexing; HY birds average shorter than AHY. For some species length of certain individual tail feathers can indicate sex
WL Wing length current Use with caution for sexing, HY birds average shorter than AHY
0 cloacal examination (waterfowl only) discontinued Included in code CL
1 adult plumage discontinued Included in code PL
2 juvenal plumage discontinued Included in code PL
3 eye color discontinued Replaced by code EY
B brood patch discontinued Replaced by code BP
C cloacal protuberance discontinued Included in code CL
D DNA/chromosome analysis discontinued Replaced by code DN
E egg in oviduct discontinued Replaced by code EG
L laparotomy/laparoscopy discontinued Replaced by code LL
M mating/copulation discontinued Included in code BO
O behavioral observation not including copulation discontinued Included in code BO
T tail length discontinued Included in code TL
W wing chord discontinued Included in code WL
X Not attempted discontinued Included in code NA
Y culmen discontinued Included in code MB
Z multiple measurements discontinued Included in code CC