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How to preserve Bird wings + feet

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by berberk, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. berberk

    berberk New Member

    Hiya everyone! I registered for this specific question: I found a dead wood pigeon today and I want to preserve the wings and the feet only, sorry if that's not really taxidermy but I couldn't find a better (active) forum.
    I've read online that wings and feet can be prepared by covering them with washing soda or salt, my question is which is better? And were would I store them in (the feet I can store in a plastic box but the wings are too big, and I'm guessing a cardboard box is not very handy). Also, even though I found the bird in a very good condition (probably died only a few hours before) there were some maggot eggs in the beak. If I do find maggot eggs when I cut the wings/feet or if they are already laid underneath the skin, how can I get rid of them/kill them, or is it too late? And my final question is: how do I keep the wings and claws spread? For claws I was thinking pinned around something round?
    I've put the pigeon in the freezer for the time being. I guess the question: "how do I proceed from here" sums it all up :)

    Thanks for the help! And sorry for these probable noob questions.

    Edit: also how long do I dry them.
  2. Wilko

    Wilko New Member

    SE UK
    Putting the bird in the freezer will kill the maggot eggs. You can wash the wings and feet (and anything you want to dry preserve) with soapy water to get any crudd off/out, and then blow dry before leaving to dry out. I use plain table salt and leave them in a warm area to dry out, and the warmer the area the less salt I use to cover the parts. With wings I often pin them out on some cardboard, which means you can get really nice results with the wings outspread and the feathers all evenly sitting. I just use clothes pin / needles / anything that has a point end! With the feet it's harder to pin them to stand up nicely, but you can just use whatever works - ie a marble or something if you want the feet to dry curled up (though note you might struggle to get the thing back afterwards. Usually doesn't take long, couple of weeks, for something to dry out. Good luck :D
    Ana Isabel likes this.

  3. berberk

    berberk New Member

    Thanks Wilko, for the great reply! I will work on it probably tomorrow or Monday, I'll let you know how it went.