I have and African Grey to mount for a customer. First of all, any concerns on legal issues? Secondly, Any pointers? Any special concerns over other birds? I'm familiar with ducks, turkeys, game birds.....and as of last night, the same lady's Rhode Island Red Rooster. Beautiful bird! Anyway, Here's my questions:
1. Skin along the beak line as would be done for artificial heads?
2. Boil the head and rebuild with clay or cast it and attach the real beak afterwards? I might be more comfortable with the first.
3. Eye color/size?
4. Feathers O.K. in white gas?
Yes, I know, any more and I might as well mail you the bird. Thanks for you help!
Return to Bird Taxidermy Category Menu
First, wear gloves! I am always very cautious about parrots, particularly if they have died from a disease. With that said ...
You can skin around the beak if you wish and then use the real head. I would not recommend boiling it, though, because the sheath may come off of the beak. Just clean it well. Look it over and make plenty of notes before you take it apart. Pay close attention to the head/neck junction. A parrot's massive jaw bone can extend back behind the neck in some positions. Once you have made your notes, be prepared to do some major excavating to de-meat that skull! You can nip away some of the extra bone for better access. Then rebuild with clay.
Parrots have tough hides and firmly connected feathers, so that part is easy. Their shoulders and wing junction are very hawklike, so keep that in mind. They are also subject to MASSIVE shrinkage of the feet, so be prepared to deal with that.
The eyes are white or yellowish white (with a very pale grey ring around the pupil) and are 9mm for a Congo African grey (red tail) or 8mm for a Timneh (maroon tail)
White gas? I would not recommend it. A lot of the color of a grey parrot is due to the bloom in their plumage. They are just loaded with powder in their feathers. If at all possible, I would avoid washing the bird altogether. (And I am a bird-washing fanatic, except for a very few rare exceptions, with African Greys being one of them.) If you have to wash it, then don't worry about the feathers. They won't be harmed. You will end up with a different colored bird, though, and you will have to compensate for it somehow - either with powder or - very cautiously - with paint.
They have lots of folds and wrinkles around their eyes. Luckily, reference is easy to find. Check for a copy of "Bird Talk" magazine at any petshop.
Good luck! You've got an interesting bird there.
There are no legal issues involved. It's a legal bird, even if you want to sell it. No papers are needed.
Got it, thanks for the detail!
Parrots must have a seamless ring placed on them while they are young to prove they were captive bred. This ring has information from USFWS on it. Other wise yes they are illegal.
I ask out of curiousity because many parrots of different kinds were imported up until sometime in the early to mid 80's. They should all have a quarantine band to show they came in legally, but those are not seamless. At that time it was strongly recommended that all captive raised parrots be closed banded, but it was not required by law. I banded the macaws that I raised in the early 90's so that they could be tracked; not because it was required by law.
I currently own a conure which was wild caught and is wearing a split band. She is about 20 years old and could possibly go another 20.
What is her legal status?
John must be having those dreams again....
. I would think the key to mounting a parrot is to slit the back of the head.I think that it is not worth while to neglect this step ..Lloyd
Parrots and Raptors are great candidates for cast heads. Our suppliers don't even carry many of these types of heads but they work great Eye placement, head and neck Union, glu joints. All are made simple with the right cast heads. I try not to respond this way to many post, but this will help anyone mounting a Parrot or Raptor (legally ofcourse).