Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 991–994 | Cite as

Buccal swabs as a reliable source of DNA for sexing young and adult Common Swifts (Apus apus)

  • Arndt H. J. Wellbrock
  • Christina Bauch
  • Jan Rozman
  • Klaudia Witte
Short Note


We investigated the reliability of buccal swabs for molecular sex determination in very young nestlings (0–14 days old) and adults of the Common Swift (Apus apus) compared to the results from blood samples of the same individuals. Sex determination based on buccal swabs matched the result of sex determination based on blood samples in 46 out of 47 nestlings (98 %) and in all 10 adults (100 %). Therefore, we consider that buccal swab sampling is a reliable noninvasive method to obtain DNA for sex determination in swifts. We recommend buccal swabbing as an alternative to blood sampling in future genetic studies in birds.


Noninvasive sampling Sex determination Nonpasserine bird Chelex 


Speichelproben als zuverlässige DNS-Quelle für molekulare Geschlechtsbestimmung bei jungen und adulten Mauerseglern (Apus apus)

Wir untersuchten die Zuverlässigkeit der molekulargenetischen Geschlechtsbestimmung anhand von Speichelproben bei sehr jungen Nestlingen ( bis 14 Tage alt) und Altvögeln des Mauerseglers (Apus apus) im Vergleich zu Blutproben derselben Individuen. Die Geschlechtsbestimmung mit Hilfe von Speichelproben stimmte bei 46 von 47 Nestlingen (98 %) und bei allen 10 Altvögeln (100 %) mit den Ergebnissen der Geschlechtsbestimmung anhand von Blutproben überein. Daher sehen wir die Entnahme von Speichelproben als eine zuverlässige, nicht-invasive Methode an, DNS zur Geschlechtsbestimmung bei Mauerseglern zu gewinnen, und empfehlen den Einsatz von Speichelproben bei zukünftigen genetischen Untersuchungen an Vögeln.


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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arndt H. J. Wellbrock
    • 1
  • Christina Bauch
    • 1
  • Jan Rozman
    • 2
  • Klaudia Witte
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Group on Ecology and Behavioral Biology, Section of Biology and Didactics, Department of Chemistry and Biology, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversity of SiegenSiegenGermany
  2. 2.MunichGermany

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