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Male or Female? VINS Raptor Ambassadors

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April 9, 2022 | 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

VINS is excited to partner with Landmark College to identify the sex of a few raptor ambassadors. Why can’t VINS determine the sex of some of these birds? Surprisingly, it is very difficult to tell if certain avian species are male or female for a few reasons: 

  1. There is generally a minimal difference in plumage (feather) coloration
  2. All reproductive organs are found internally
  3. They tend to behave similarly outside of peak breeding season.
The students in a Principles of Biology course will use gel electrophoresis with DNA from feathers to determine if these birds are male or female.  In science it is always best practice to have a control, some of the birds depicted have known sexes based on their plumage coloration.  Can you pick out those birds?  Read our Nature Blog post to learn more about this collaboration and the scientific process.

Make your guesses on the sex of these birds then visit VINS on Saturday, April 9 for a small gathering to announce the results and celebrate this collaboration. 

For more information, contact us at 802.359.5000 or info@vinsweb.org.