Bird Sexing Primers and Protocols for Bento Lab

Bento Lab Co-Founder

Identifying the sex of birds can be essential for bird owners, breeders, conservationists, and many other people. But for many birds, it can be difficult or impossible to differentiate their sex based on appearance. A DNA test to determine the bird’s sex is often the best solution

Many avian sexing services exist which will analyse the DNA based on a drop of blood that can be sent in the mail. This is convenient, but can be take time to turn around, and gets expensive for large number of samples. 

We’re excited to launch a new set of bird sexing resources for Bento Lab, that allow anyone to conduct their own DNA-based bird sexing.

Our bird sexing workflow uses the HotSHOT DNA Extraction kit to extract DNA from feathers. Once the DNA is extracted, we have two sets of primer mixes to conduct PCR and gel electrophoresis

You can find out more on the bird sexing page here.

Interested in getting started? Tell us what you need

We are passionate about unlocking the power of DNA analysis and making it accessible to anybody. 

If you are thinking about trying bird sexing yourself, or if you are already conducting your own bird sex DNA tests, or using external bird sexing services – we would love to hear from you.

Everything you will need for this DIY bird sexing workflow is readily available. If you already have a setup for PCR and gel electrophoresis (such as Bento Lab), you can find both sets of bird sexing primers in our shop.

News from the Bento Team

The bird sexing resources were a project started by Brian Douglas, who was our first full-time molecular biologist.

YouTube video
Bethan and Brian talk about mycology.

Brian joined us on the heels of the Lost and Found Fungi project. He was instrumental in launching our supplies shop, and pioneering our DNA extraction kits.

He has now started an exciting new role at Kew Gardens, and although we’ll miss him, we’re also excited for him! We know his new project will make a splash. Thank you for your awesome work Brian!

The bird sexing resources started with Brian, but they were finished by our newest team member, Jenny.

She joined our team this month as our new molecular biologist! Watch this space – we’ve got a lot of exciting things planned.

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