DNA Sexing of Finches - Blood Cards eFinch on Facebook
Tricolor nuns Monomorphic species like the Tricolor nun can show subtle clues to their sex, but often there is enough overlap in these characteristics to provide doubt about the sex of an individual. Singing males can be identified, but often only the dominant male in a group will sing or they simply will not sing in your presence. DNA sexing helps to ensure that the pairs you set up are true pairs, saving you time and frustration in setting up same sex pairs. These same sex pairs can fool you by acting like true pairs by building nests or otherwise going through the motions of breeding, but of course nothing happens. Collecting samples for DNA sexing is as follows:
Blood Card Cut toenail
The sample cards are provided free from Avian Biotech. The new ones are a bit smaller and have a barcode on the front, but they are essentially the same. Keep the cards in the bags until ready for use to avoid contamination. Use your nail clippers to cut the toenail at a point beyond the vein. Don't hit it right at the tip or it likely will not provide enough blood. Cut the vein beyond the point it starts to tapper. If the nail is dark, you'll just have to give it a good guess. Leave the bird some nail.
Blood drop Blot card
At this point you'll start to see some blood forming on the tip. To keep the flow going I usually "pump" the foot between my fingers to get the flow going. Start dabbing the blood into the circle on the card. Some birds can actually be difficult to keep going as they don't have good flow or clot too quickly. Cut again if necessary. Avoid contamination.
Blot card Stop bleeding
While Avian Biotech will retest any card that does not have enough material for analysis, it is best to get this done right the first time. Blot the blood in the circle, but you don't have to fill the circle completely. Just be sure to get at least 4-5 good drops. Now you can apply some blood clotting powder like Kwik-Stop to stop the bleeding. Once the blood on the card is dried, return it to the plastic bag and send it to Avian Biotech.
DNA results
A few days after they receive the samples, Avian Biotech will post the results on line for you. You access them through your account number. They will also send out your results on a printed certificate for each bird. This is also a good time to get some more sample collection cards for the next time you need to test some birds.

Still not confident enough to get the blood sample? Avian Biotech also does DNA testing from feathers. You will have to pluck a number of feathers from the finch and it does cost a few more dollars.

Providers of DNA Sexing:
Avian Biotech 850-386-1145 or 800-514-9672