Blood Sampling

Science Center Objects

The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) can provide authorization to collect blood samples only from migratory birds captured for the purpose of banding and/or marking. If migratory birds are captured for the sole purpose of obtaining blood samples, then a Migratory Bird Scientific Collecting Permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will be required.

Banders will not be considered for this authorization until after they are fully trained in the proper protocols to safely collect blood samples from birds and have obtained supervised field experience that successfully obtained blood samples from birds. This field experience should be with avian taxa similar to the species for which the blood sampling authorization will be requested.

Requests for blood sampling authorization should include the following information:

  • Master bander’s name, permit number and all sub-permits requiring this authorization.
  • The species and/or species groups from which the feather samples will be obtained.
  • The location on the bird where the blood will be drawn and the specific protocols that will be followed.
  • The volume of blood that will be obtained from each bird.
  • The applicant's qualifications described in a resume of experience and training. Any formal training in blood sampling techniques should be described. A summary of field experience should include the approximate number of birds bled, collection method and blood draw site, species or species group from which the samples were obtained, and the dates and location of the project.
  • Project proposal(s) to justify these activities.

The BBL will consider requests for blood sampling authorizations for sub-permittees who are fully trained in these techniques while the master bander has no blood sampling experience. In these cases, restrictions on the master banding permit will limit the blood sampling authorizations to the qualified sub-permittees.


Please allow 2 months lead time to process your request.

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