The development of diagnostic assays for detecting beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) has traditionally been hampered by the difficulty associated with producing suitable reagents, namely purified virus and polyclonal antibodies. In an effort to develop a consistent and standardised source of antibody, a monoclonal antibody to a recombinant BFDV capsid protein has been developed and its use in western blotting, immunohistochemistry (IHC), ELISA and haemagglutination-inhibition (HI) assays characterised. The antibody was specific for both the recombinant BFDV capsid protein and the whole virus and had similar optimal titres when used in western blotting and IHC. The antibody also had HI activity and detected BFDV virus from three genera of psittacine birds, including the recently described cockatiel BFDV isolate. The monoclonal antibody should have widespread application in both research and the development of diagnostic assays for BFDV.