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OH Pinfeathers how I hate you!!

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by schenk, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. schenk

    schenk Member

    Them things are difficult. I have found a new hate, pin feathers. Took in 6 teal in Nov, 2 bluewings and the drake was horrid!! He was getting his full colors and man what a pain.
    The greenwings weren't bad, but that bluewing had a million. Well now he's only got 1/2 a million, i think the rest fell out.
  2. Paul C

    Paul C New Member

    Now you know why some of us don't take birds in that are that pinfeathered. FWIW....I've found you can make pinfeathered birds a "little" better by adding a layer of soft fill---chopped excelsior---under the skin. Manipulating the excelsior with a long needle after the bird is mounted will allow what is left of its feathers to make the most of themselves and can sometimes salvage a pinfeathered piece of junk into an actual mount.

  3. scandler

    scandler New Member

    when skinning out birds, if i notie a lot of pinfeathers in it , i go ahead and call the customer and tell him that it unmountable. now, i know some on here wouldnt turn down work but if its not looking good from the start i cant make it look good in the end. i have mounted a bunch in the past and told myself i wouldnt do anotherone because of the pain in butts just dont look right when they got little pockets of feathers missing
  4. schenk

    schenk Member

    Yep, they looked alright frozen! lol. Next time i'm gonna throw them out. It turned out and i'm going to tell him, he's a really nice guy and I can help him pick better specimens for the future. I know most of them probably don't think of it much.
  5. mcrib1981

    mcrib1981 New Member

    I don't think the average hunter even knows... at least, I had never heard of a pin feather until I started mounting birds. Now... I hate 'em!
  6. schenk

    schenk Member

    Nope, most don't know how it affects a mount! I sure didn't til I started. I just knew it when we went to picking birds.
  7. X2 the hate of pinfeathers! I know with my reference birds that they don't obtain full plumage here on the coast until February. My mallards and northern pintails actually came into fall plumage in October, lost their colors in December and have just completed the second plumage change this winter season. That will make 3 in one year. I guess the mild winter here. Anyway, keep up the good work!
  8. idbatman

    idbatman Active Member

    You have never seen pinfeathers until you mount a September Sagegrouse or Crane. You learn to work with what you've got. I try to educate my clients and not turn them away.
  9. dc taxidermy

    dc taxidermy Me and My Baby's senior picture

    I get alot of pin feathered teal from our early season. I hate them too....DC
  10. James Parrish

    James Parrish Tundra Swan...Its What's For Dinner!

    I try to make the most of every specimen that comes through the door. I'm not in business to turn work away. With that said, you sometimes have to make some hard decisions. That could include calling the customer and telling him his bird is unmountable. Most of the birds I get that have pinfeathers only have them in the scaps, tail, head/neck, and/or side pockets. Unless they are REALLY early season birds, the bellies, backs, chest, and wings are usually good. Keeping this in mind, I try to steer customers with pinfeathered birds into having them mounted in poses that focus on the "good" areas. For example, a pinfeathered bird can make a nice dead mount. The cupped belly out pose also works well. Trying to get a pinfeathered bird to look fluffy for a standing/sitting mount is difficult or impossible. So, I try to talk customers out of those poses.

    As Paul said, there are things you can do to help make the bird look better. I use caulk in place of the chopped excelsior, but adding fill definitely helps. I prefer caulk because it helps hold the skin and good feathers in place. If there are one or 2 pinfeathers among a group of otherwise good feathers, I will sometimes pull the pinfeather out on purpose. The reason is because I can groom the good feathers to make the area look nice. If I leave that feather or 2 in place, they will sometimes fall out later, leaving a gap. Experience will have to be your guide on this.