Avian Mouth Swabs

(1) Use two Q-tips

(2) Open the bird's mouth and rub the surface of the Q-tip across the tongue, roof of mouth, and sides of mouth.

(3) Put the cotton tip that was used inside 2mL microcentrifuge tubes and cut the stem of the Q-tip with a pair of scissors or wire cutters so that the tube can close

(4) Label either the top of the microcentrifuge tube or the side with the sex of the individual, identification number, location, and date

(5) Repeat the procedure with the second Q-tip (or the other end of the Q-tip)

(6) Freeze samples as soon as possible

***Brand name Q-tips work better than any other cotton and/or foam swab that I have tried - they yield at least twice the DNA likely because they are so soft and fluffy that they absorb more saliva containing sloughed cells