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2nd bird 4th mount

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Ginger2000, May 18, 2011.

  1. Male Mallard, and although he's not as ''scruffy'' as the Teal I first did, he's still rather.. scruffy. Feathers don't like me :|
    He's still better than the Teal I did.


    Lets hear your crits, Guys.
  2. Doesn't appear that you dried it well enough. Start with washing, washing,washing, rinse 20 times then drying it and you'll be amazed at how well the feathers fall better into place.

  3. Same problem with first mount, lol
    Had no idea ducks needed so much washing, they're always in water.. lol
    Thanks tho!
  4. Gray Ghost Safaris

    Gray Ghost Safaris Hunting Consultant

    Ginger, as you know, waterfowl have two oil glands located above their rump. These glands produce the oil that allows ducks to remain "waterproof" and that's why the degreasing step is so important. After removing the loose fat, then wheeling the skin, I use Dawn detergent to do the initial degreasing wash. I take an old toothbrush with soft bristles and work the Dawn with some Borax added into the skin (gently) then put the skin in a Dawn wash. Next step as mentioned is to rinse the skin in cold water, making sure you agitate the skin by hand. Repeat this until all sign of suds are gone, then once again. I always used "white gasoline" (produced by Amoco, now owned by BP). This did an excellent job of removing any remaining oil. It is extremely dangerous so you MUST work outside away from any flame or static electricity. Wear rubber gloves designed to be uneffected by gas. Options would be some of the degreasing solutions available from suppy houses, but ask for recommendations as I have been retired for years. Once you do the final degrease, you should either: A. tumble in a low revolution tumbler or B. blow dry using cool air from a hair dryer. That will make all the difference in your mounts. Hope this helps in some way.
  5. study reference pictures. this will make a difference. Make your mount look exactly like your reference.
  6. Thanks for the advice guys! And I had some ref pics printed out Brian.
  7. Yeah, I see you had your pics right beside you as you were working, which is great! I'm curious what you were using as reference for the pose though, and I think that's part of what Brian was getting at. I don't think I've ever seen a mallard sit upright and back on its hocks like that.
  8. Admittedly the wires I used in his legs weren't holding his body up so I had to have him perch back on his butt lol.

    Gonna invest in stronger wire, thought the stuff I had for Arts and Crafts was good enough but apparently not.
  9. alan webfoot

    alan webfoot New Member

    to encourage to keep at it ,,,the wings are aligned side by side very well the tail looks god [folded up ,not spread out for standing]Was the skin getting a little dry before you inserted the body??,some ''feather'' problems are caused by not being able to move the skin where it needs to go!!A lot is caused by all the oil in a duck ,gotta hand it to you you finished him and a mallard is one TOUGH bird even for a second
  10. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    ginger, i know i was mean on the teal last time so this time ill just say" it looks great"

    not to be rude but i dont think you and waterfowl taxidermy have no future with each other!!!!
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Brian, that's exactly what taxidermists told me when I started. Some may claim they were right, but I didn't buy it and after 50 years, I still need improvements.

    Ginger, is the body wrapped? I suspect that it is as it's about 1/3 longer than it needs to be. Stretching out a bird is a blue ribboned guarantee that the feathers won't groom and lay correctly. On your next bird, if you're wrapping, wrap it with your duck body on the table so that you can make your body the same size and length of the real one. When you mount it, before you ever try to pose it, take a hair drier and COMPLETELY dry your feathers. Blow from the back end forward so that you lift the coverts and dry the down underneath (if you don't, your bird will look ratty and greasy even if it's not). Once this is complete, THEN pose your bird. You'll be amazed at how the feathers will lay down and fall into place. Then get your references out and copy them as closely as you can. This isn't rocket science. All that's required is a genuine love of the animals you're doing and dedication to getting it done right. Keep after it.
  12. lee tees valley

    lee tees valley tweety luvva.

    ;D ;D ginger,, you in the uk ' yes' 8) why stuff duck's ??? when you can do all kinda birds 8) 8) 8) i say start on easy'' user friendly birds'''' jay's, magpies , starling ect. get some potato starch , to help you dry the plumage more thouraghly 8) then get it done ;)
  13. taxos

    taxos Finches, Buntings

    well said Lee. A jay is an easy bird to skin, and makes a nice mount aswell. They are not fat, tough skinned and have enough feathers to hide some mistakes...try it an leave the ducks aside for the next dozen or so birds.
  14. arod8387

    arod8387 New Member

    how do you dry ur bird have u tried corn cob grit or anything like that
  15. Thanks for the advice guys!

    @ Brian
    I don't plan on giving up on waterfowls, I have 2 I need to do for a guy and if I let him down I'll never hear the end of it lol (he has a tendency to nag)

    @ George
    The body is carved, again thanks!

    @ Lee
    I've only got waterfowls in the freezer, heh. Can't get my hands on jays, magpies or such. I have a few wood pigeon but tbh I don't even wanna look at those, the gun they were shot with may as well have exploded them altogether. lol

    Haven't got anything other than ducks lol
    3 woodpigeons but like I said to Lee, they're in pieces. I dunno why I still have them actually..

    Hair Dryer.
    I don't have a bird tumbler, or a fur tumbler.
  16. Joshbritt

    Joshbritt New Member

    Ginger, don't get discouraged. I believe you will have a future with waterfowl taxidermy if you truly believe in it and practice, listen to others and get some training. Don't you ever let someone tell you that you have no future. If you are determined, you will make something of yourself. The positive thing is that you've progressed from one bird to another. The first bird was very dirty and not dried. The second was cleaner and drier than the first. You made improvements and that's the key. Do as the others say; work on cleaning & degreasing, drying, anatomy of a duck and studying reference photos. Right on George! I think your biggest problem other than being clean and dry is the size of body you are using. Just make sure what comes out matches what goes in.

    I'm on my 5th bird and I have learned so much by a few people that have given me some really good advice and comments. I learn something new every day. From the first bird to the 500th bird, always try to improve from one bird to another. Keep at it. We all will get there one day.

    Look at my first... not to far from yours...

    From here

    To here.

  17. Thank you for the kind words, Josh! I am defiantly not giving up, no matter what people say! I'm having too much fun with Taxidermy to just give it up, I know I will get better, its just gonna take time. :)

    I've learned alot so far, and I want to learn more, so I'm going to keep trying for sure. Seeing the mounts on this forum inspires me to get better at my current experience.

    Your first mount defiantly looks 1000 times better than both my first and second! And its great to see you are improving loads too! Thanks again for the advice, I'm defiantly going to keep trying! :)
  18. franchi612

    franchi612 New Member

    Absolutely keep at it. Just listen to the great advice you are getting here. I think alot of beginners make the mistake of not drying their birds enough, and not using the right size wires. I know I did. Get that fixed and you will see a huge improvement.
  19. scandler

    scandler New Member

    ginger2000, if you could tell us what your mounting technique is : step by step: to where we all can help you out on your process. it looks as though you have the same problems that you had with the teal , so that leeds me to believe that its in the steps that you are mounting it in. i applaud you for coming back on here after being bashed on the teal. let us now the process so we can help you.....
  20. arod8387

    arod8387 New Member

    I just started myself but I think if u got some cob grit or other dryn product from a taxidermy supplier and tumbled the duck n a bucket or box by hand that would probably help on the drying part,and of that use the dryer maybe.