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Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by RobAyrshire, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. RobAyrshire

    RobAyrshire New Member

    Hi Guys,

    Im new here and new to taxidermy as well. Im in Scotland. I have attached a couple of pics, and would welcome your feedback.

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  2. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

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    Rob,
    It would help if you could put a few more pics up and from different angles. Larger would be a plus as well. It looks to me like the owl leg placement is off a little, meaning that the ballance looks off. More and or better pics would help. Other then that your mounts look good. Sure would be nice to be able to do raptors and such but here they are protected.
    jim
     

  3. RobAyrshire

    RobAyrshire New Member

    Hi Jim,

    Here are a couple of bigger pics ( i hope).

    Shame you cant do raptors there, they are my favourite.

    Rob
     
  4. Rob,

    I believe what Jim wanted was some other pictures from different angles to show other parts of the bird and how they stand. This may be difficult if you don't have access to a digital camera nor the knowledge of how to use one (I don't at this point). That said, I will suggest something on one aspect on one of the mounts because you wish feedback, and this the Barn Owl.

    Owls in general, as in many bird families and orders have certain characteristics that dictate how they stand on flat ground or on a perch. The group of birds in the Order Passeriformes which are know as Perching Birds, have specialized tendons and automatic methods that allow gripping branches firmly and even allows them to sleep perched on a branch. There are characteristics in how they can bend the legs so that they can actually bend the tibiotarsus up and almost touching the tibiafibula - not necessarily analogous to a person bending a hand up and touch the shoulder. This ability of a perching bird to fold the foot up to the knee, allows great latitude in how the bird can set on a branch.

    Owls cannot "fold" the foot up to the knee as they have in general much more massive tendons for gripping and killing prey and there is not enough stretch in them. The angle you have the tibiotarsus at in the picture appears to be actually parallel to the ground - I can't tell for sure as the wing obscures that view. This amount of bend between the tibiafibula and tibiotarsus would have to be at least 45 degree and maybe a 60 degree bend (assuming proper placement of the knee on the artificial body). That angle is too much.

    Owls generally have almost a vertical angle in the lower leg and foot bones - rarely more than a 30 off of a 180 degree straight edge, and the Tytonidae have exceptionally long legs in relation to most other Strigiformes. When standing on a flat surface, or even a branch as you have your bird, the bottom of the wings are close to even with the floor or the branch. In your mount the bottom of the wings are four to five inches below the level of the branch. I also see no tail visible in the mount, it would show on your stance when the wings are drooping as it appears.

    I would imagine if you took other pictures and posted them you would get more feedback. I posted this to not discourage you, but to get you to think about exactly how to think when posing a bird. A goggle search will provide many pictures, which with detailed study, will allow you to vastly improve your taxidermy.

    Well I better get back to my REAL work...
     
  5. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

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    Rob,
    Although I could never say it like taxidermologist, that is what I was trying to get at. Your leg position looks off a little. If you take the bird and pose it before skinning you can see how the claws grasp and in what angle the legs will be in when they do. The owl is a beautiful bird. I would like to see different angles if you are able to provide them. I am sure there are others who would be willing to take a gander as well.
    Thanks, Jim
     
  6. RobAyrshire

    RobAyrshire New Member

    Hi Guys.

    I have taken your comments on board and decided to wet the Barn Owl back, and start again. Meanwhile, heres a couple more pics. One of another Barn Owl done the other day, and the other of Jay, finished today.

    Cheers
     
  7. BeckyBird

    BeckyBird My Baby Bluebirds

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    That Jackdaw looks wonderful, especially its face. I also think the owls look amazing, especially the one in the last picture. I just did a Barn Owl for a nature center, and it was very difficult. I actually think the owl pose in the first picture is more attractive, although he does seem to be crouched down too much. But still a beautiful bird!

    I do believe owls can bend their legs that far though.....how else could they sit down to incubate eggs? But I have to agree that they don't perch with them bent quite so much.
     
  8. RobAyrshire

    RobAyrshire New Member

    Hi Becky,

    Thnaks for your comments. I notice that you been doing this since you were 11. Its nice to get some compliments from someone experienced. I will post some more pics as i go along.

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  9. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

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    Rob,
    I went back to your original post and reread it. For being new to taxidermy your bird work is well along. ;D I don't have tons of owl reference pics but the ones I do have show the secondaries flowing back more in line with the primaries. Yours are more vertical which , in my opinion, disrupts the flow of the wing. One other area that looks a little rough is the preening on the shoulder of the wing. I have a couple questions, are you doing these mounts for yourself, are you leaving the femur attached to the fibula? The reason I ask is that I believe the legs are tough to get in the right position without the femur. Remember, these are my opinions and everyone has a couple!!!!! ;D ;D NIce bird word Rob!
     
  10. RobAyrshire

    RobAyrshire New Member

    Hi Jim,

    On the owls the femur is detached, however on the jay, left it attached, just to see what difference it made. Whare are the advantages/disadvantages of leaving it on or off?

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  11. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

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    Rob,
    I don't know if there are real advantages but when I mount a raptor I leave it as I feel it helps me to get proper placement and length.
    Jim