Molecular sex identification markers for five North American hummingbird species

Kelly A. Hagadorn, Lisa A Tell, Tracy L. Drazenovich, Holly B Ernest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Hummingbird sex identification can be difficult, especially for juveniles. Accurate sex identification is vital for ecology, population health, and conservation biology studies; therefore, a simple molecular technique, that is accurate with less-invasive sampling methods such as feathers, would be useful. Eleven PCR primer pairs reported to identify sex of other bird species were tested in five hummingbird species inhabiting western North America (Anna’s: Calypte anna, Black-chinned: Archilochus alexandri, Allen’s: Selasphorus sasin, Rufous: Selasphorus rufus, and Costa’s Hummingbird: Calypte costae). The two best performing primer pairs were compared using DNA from tissue, blood, and feathers. One primer set was 100 % accurate and optimal for all samples. The less invasive feather sampling method accurately identified sex and has important conservation application for hummingbirds and for ensuring field-sexing data accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-430
Number of pages4
JournalConservation Genetics Resources
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Avian
  • Bird
  • Chromo-helicase-DNA binding gene
  • DNA
  • Hummingbird
  • Molecular sexing
  • Trochilidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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