Divergent life histories by sex are common within species of birds; thus, the ability to accurately determine sex is essential in many studies of avian ecology and can possibly lead to more effective conservation strategies. However, sex determination can be difficult in species not displaying dimorphic plumage, including most raptors, and size dimorphism has limited use during observations but is promising for determining sex of raptors in hand. The Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), known for its long-distance migrations between North and South America, has yet to be examined for morphometric variation across its wide range. We analyzed body mass, wing chord, and tail length data for 119 adult Broad-winged Hawks captured in eastern North America during the breeding seasons from 1974 to 2020. We found that adult female Broad-winged Hawks were larger than adult males overall. Hawks from Wisconsin were larger than hawks from Pennsylvania and Maryland, and hawks from Ontario were larger than those from other populations, suggesting geographic variation in size. Using linear discriminant analysis, we showed that it was possible to determine sex of adults with 99% accuracy in Wisconsin populations using only body mass as a predictor, and 100% accuracy in Pennsylvania and Maryland populations using body mass, wing chord, and tail length as predictors. Morphometric measurements combined with discriminant function analysis proved useful in discerning sex of breeding-season Broad-winged Hawks, and results of this study can guide researchers working in similar regions. We encourage researchers to collect body measurements for this species and other monomorphic raptors to further inform sex determination.

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