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Bird Sexing

Knowing a bird’s sex can be important from a number of health, breeding, commercial and ecological perspectives. For example, having an indication of the bird sexing can be important for veterinarian diagnosis of certain diseases, allow for more specialised sex-specific feeding plans to be used and to enable more reliable and successful commercial breeding and conservation activities.

eDNA Survey Seasons

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Bird Sexing

Molecular DNA-based method to determine the sex of a bird from a feather or eggshell sample can be carried out all year round.

Bird Sexing icon


Sample Type

Feathers, egg shells or blood.



Non-harmful and non-invasive to the birds.

DNA Based Sexing

Our new bird or avian sexing service has now launched after extensive development and validation process. Send your freshly plucked feathers in today for a quick and reliable determination of the sex of any bird species.

Identifying a bird’s sex can be important from several health, breeding, commercial and ecological perspectives. Despite this, bird sexing can be notoriously difficult for inexperienced bird owners and breeders, often requiring the use of an expert and even then, the determination of the bird’s sex is not always straight forward or 100% accurate.

Our bird sexing service uses reliable molecular DNA-based sexing methods which are fast, accurate and non-harmful to the bird. DNA based bird sexing is the least invasive method for bird sexing and is becoming much more popular among bird breeders and vets.

  • Standard – 4 days – £17.00 ex. VAT
  • Fast Track – 2 days – £27.00 ex. VAT
DNA Based Sexing

Forensic Ecology - Sample Collection

We can use both freshly plucked feathers and newly hatched eggshells to determine the sex of your bird. In order to maximise the amount of DNA within the samples please ensure:

3-6 freshly plucked feathers are collected (the viable DNA is within the quill). Moulted feathers do not contain enough DNA for a reliable analysis.

Avoid plucking small underwing feathers, blood feathers or flight feathers. For best results, it is best to pluck from the chest area.

For eggshell collection, the eggshell must be collected straight after hatching. The eggshell needs to be completely dry, so we recommend drying it in a warm, dry place for 24h before sending it to us.

Plucked feathers and eggshells should not be older than 5 days upon arrival to our lab for reliable analysis. Please post samples within 24 hours of collection where possible.

Our approach is a widely universal method for bird sexing and has been tested on over 53 species of birds including species of parrots, owls, pigeons, chickens, storks, woodpeckers and many more.

Before collecting a sample please download and print our sample collection form below.

Download Sample Collection Form
Download Sample Collection Form image
Forensic Ecology - Sample Collection

Sending Your Samples

We recommend returning kits by courier with APC, they have depots across the UK and the most convenient drop-off spot may be found here. We also accept hand-delivered kits Mon-Thurs 8am-4.30pm and Fri 8am-4pm, and by appointment 24/7.

Please send completed kits back to our laboratory at:

SureScreen Scientifics
Morley Retreat
Church Lane, Morley


Bird Sexing FAQs

How do I send in samples?

How do I collect a sample?

How do I return my samples to the laboratory?

How soon after taking a sample should I send it to the laboratory?

When can I expect my results?

Where can I find my results?

How accurate is the method?

What species can you test for?