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Pigeon Sampling

In 2018 we invested in a microscope and Sarah learned how to examine pigeon poops for parasites. This has made an enormous difference to how effectively we can treat our pigeon patients and we’ve come to view this as an essential part of pigeon rescue.

Of course, not every rescuer can spend a few hundred pounds on a microscope or afford to spend £15 a time sending samples to a laboratory. So, we’re happy to help fellow rescuers by examining samples of rescued pigeons without any charge. We can check either samples from individual birds or a group sample from an aviary or group living together (since co-habiting birds will usually have the same parasites).

We are proud to say that we have, so far, saved rescues over £12,000 in sampling costs through this service.

Some Caveats

  • Sarah is not an expert but is confident in identifying the most commonly seen parasites (coccidia, fluke, roundworm, strongyles and capillaria).
  • the sampling we offer will not identify bacterial infections such as salmonella/paratyphoid or fungal issues such as candida and canker.
  • we offer a quick, free, amateur test. Responsibility for seeking a professional examination, vet advice and medication remains that of the carer.
  • we can only test pigeon poo (i.e. feral pigeons, racing/domestic pigeons, wood pigeons, stock and collared doves. We cannot test other birds
  • we offer this service to established rescues and independent rescuers to save them time and money. It is not intended for members of the public. If you have found a sick pigeon and you’re not experienced in caring for them, please pass them to a rescue ASAP. You can find one at directory.helpwildlife.co.uk.
  • the sender is responsible for ensuring the sample is packaged and posted in accordance with the relevant legislation and post office guidelines.

Important Instructions

To get the maximum benefit from this service and keep things running smoothly, please note the following:

  • samples should not be collected within 10 days of giving wormers, coccidia medications or antibiotics. These may produce a false negative result.
  • samples should consist of around 3-4 droppings or equivalent. Eggs are shed intermittently and insufficient samples may produce a false negative result.
  • start by completing the form under ‘Register A Pigeon‘ to provide us with details of the bird/s you wish to be tested. Note the reference in the confirmation message (you’ll also be sent this by email).
  • then complete the form under ‘Submit A Sample‘ for each sample before posting. You will be shown the address to send the sample to once the form is completed and submitted.
  • please ensure submitted samples are labelled with the bird’s reference number.
  • to ensure we have time to check samples while they’re still ‘fresh’ please limit submissions to a maximum of 6 at a time.


We will email you when the sample is received and aim to get results to you within 24 hours of receipt for Priority 1 samples, 48 hours for Priority 2 samples, 3 days for Priority 3 samples, and 4 days for Priority 4 samples.

On a personal note, due to health issues we remain vulnerable to severe effects of COVID and other viruses. If anyone in your household has any symptoms which could suggest a viral infection (including cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, vomiting, or diarrhoea) please do not send any samples until the illness is fully resolved. Thanks.

You must be logged in to proceed

You'll need to register an account with us at starlighttrust.org.uk/register and login in at starlighttrust.org.uk/login to use this service.

You can use the sheet below to check on the status of any of your samples. On the left you’ll see a complete list of all samples submitted by the sample date. On the right you’ll see the samples we have received but not yet processed sorted by target date, showing you where your sample is in the queue.

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