FROM £147.60 (INCL. VAT)

A falcon DNA test to determine parentage is a powerful tool for breeders and owners, allowing the determination of clear genetic links between a chick and its parents.

The service starts at £147.60 (incl. VAT) and includes one chick, the mother and one potential father. If you required additional chicks or potential fathers to participate in the test that is not a problem, these can be added on individually.

By sending us one of the sample types below for each bird participating in the test, we can produce each birds individual DNA profile. These profiles are then compared against each other to determine parentage i.e. confirm the mother and identify if the father is among those tested.

We are able to carry out DNA testing to determine genetic relationships for peregrine falcons and gyrfalcons. Falcon parentage testing can be carried out at any age. We can even use the eggshell membrane after the chick has hatched and confirm the sex of the chick for you too (see our bird sexing page). Find out more about our DNA sexing service here

Please note that this service unfortunately cannot be used to determine parentage for hybrid species.


Making use of a special technique known as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), we are able to copy all the regions of DNA we require for a falcon DNA test to determine parentage.

chXout uses eleven DNA markers to carry out the parentage analysis.

falcon dna test

We make use of PCR to copy multiple highly variable regions, known as short tandem repeats (STR’s). By copying and analysing these regions we are able to produce a DNA profile for each individual bird.

Click on me to see my DNA profile!

Each individual has two alleles (variations between individual sections of DNA) at each DNA marker. One of these is inherited from the mother and the other from the father. In your report these are shown as a number which represents the allele size from the DNA profile (highlighted blue in the DNA profile example above).

Similarly to a human paternity test, we are then able to compare the DNA profiles of the chick and mother to rule out the alleles inherited maternally.

By process of elimination, we are then left with the alleles corresponding to the alleged father. If the remaining alleles match at each marker, we can conclusively say that the tested male is the biological father of the chick.

Example falcon parentage test report


The falcon parentage DNA test package includes one chick DNA profile, one mother DNA profile, one potential father profile and the parentage analysis. If you require additional potential fathers or chicks to be tested, these will need to be added on individually.
As a chick inherits 50% of its DNA from the mother and 50% from the father, a test without a sample from the mother will not provide the same degree of certainty as a test without samples from both parents.

The mother's sample is used to rule out the maternally inherited alleles to check if the remaining alleles correspond with the potential father.

With peregrine and gyrfalcons, the likelihood of potential male parents being related can sometimes be quite high. We would not recommend completing a parentage test without the mother to be able to provide a conclusive result.

Currently there are eleven DNA markers used to confirm falcon parentage. If there was an instance where the potential male parents were closely related enough to not be able to confirm a result due to the similarity of the DNA profiles at those particular markers, this would be explained clearly in the report. Falcon parentage is not quite yet at the same stage as that of dogs and other animals, where additional markers are available to carry out extended parentage testing.

If you are aware of or suspect that any potential male parents may be closely related it is always useful to notify us so that we have all of the information when completing the analysis.

Upon completion of the analysis, your bird's DNA profiles will be kept on file. This means that you will not be required to send in another sample or pay again for them to participate in a future parentage test.
We are able to carry out DNA testing and analysis to determine genetic relationships for peregrine and gyrfalcons.

Please note that this service unfortunately cannot be used to determine parentage for hybrid species.

The profile used for DNA bird sexing only looks at one DNA marker to confirm if the bird is a male or female. A parentage test analyses eleven DNA markers, hence the difference in pricing and turnaround time between the two services.
If you are unable to send us the samples for all birds participating at the same time (e.g. a chick has hatched and you have the egg membrane but have not yet been able to collect the samples for the other birds) that is not a problem. Please send the samples that you do have to us with your completed sample submission form making it clear which samples we have and which samples we are waiting for.

In this case, we can extract the DNA from the samples that we do have and hold it ready to complete the rest of the steps in the process when we have the remaining samples. This means that the DNA is extracted while the sample is still at its best and we can store it appropriately until needed.

The turnaround time is eight working days. The day we have received all of the relevant samples required to complete the case is classed as 'day 0' and eight working days is counted from there.


£147.60 (incl. VAT)

One chick DNA profile
One mother DNA profile
One potential father DNA profile
Parentage Analysis
DNA profile storage for future cases
Report within 8 working days

£49.20 (incl. VAT)

To be used with falcon parentage package
Price per additional father
One potential father DNA profile
Parentage Analysis
DNA profile storage for future cases
Report withing 8 working days

£49.20 (incl. VAT)

To be used with falcon parentage package
Price per additional chick
One chick DNA profile
Parentage Analysis
DNA profile storage for future cases
Report within 8 working days


Egg Membrane


blood sample




A good sample is key to firstly, achieving a DNA profile and equally, providing conclusive results. With this is mind, please take some time to take a look at our Sample Submissions page and download our sampling instructions at the top of the page.

Preferred sample types are egg membrane and blood samples. If you have no other option than to send feather samples, we would require at least 6 plucked feathers.

Please note that we would not be able to accept a mouth swab for a falcon parentage test.


  1. Collect your sample using our sampling instructions at the top of the page.
  2. Ensure that your samples are sealed securely and labelled correctly.
  3. Complete the relevant forms for your service. If you email them to we will know to expect your sample(s) & it will help us to manage caseloads in busy periods.
    Please ensure that the relationship of the birds is clear on your sample submission form and samples (mother/potential father/chick).
  4. Package your samples safely and include your client reference.
  5. Enclose your sample submission form if these have not already been emailed to us.
  6. Send your samples to us at: chXout®, The Durham Genome Centre, Park House, Station Road, Lanchester, DH7 0EX
  7. Your sample(s) will be checked and logged in upon receipt ready to be passed to the laboratory. If we note any anomalies we think you may need to be aware of prior to the start of processing we will contact you as to how you would like to proceed as soon as possible.
  8. A report will be emailed to you attached as a PDF document within your chosen turnaround time and as soon as the results are available.

Please ensure that the correct postage is used for the size of the letter or parcel to avoid any delays due to insufficient postage. Further information can be found via Royal Mail.