1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

HELP! How do i invert wings without splitting primary and secondary feathers?

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Mike0008, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Mike0008

    Mike0008 New Member

    Hello everybody, Im new to waterfowl taxidermy and have done two months of research in order to prepare myself. I feel I am doing an adequate job on the many skills necessary for a good looking bird, however there is one area I keep messin up.

    When Im inverting wings to flesh it seems to split many of the secondary and primary feathers. I also seem to be tearing a hole in the armpit area which is a real pain to hide the sew job.

    Also when I try to leave the secondary feathers attached to the bone for easier placement later it is very difficult to get the other side down all the way to the joint.

    Any suggetions?


  2. TWinter

    TWinter Winter taxidermy

    When skinning the bird,skin to the shoulder area. Then I cut into the body and free the head of the humerus from the body. Then I grab the ball of the humerus and skin carefully until the skin is freed from the body. After the bird is completely removed, I go back to the humerus and pull on it. Often times the skin will release as I pull on the bone. When it binds, carefully use your scalpel to free the skin. Work to the elbow. When I reach the elbow, often times I merely use my thumb nail to work the feather quills off the ulna bone, and work it down to the wrist. Unless there r shot holes, you can skin it without creating a hole if u go slowly. Anyhoo, that's how i go about it :)
    notbuffalobill likes this.

  3. Mike0008

    Mike0008 New Member

    Thanks,....I will definately get the body out of the way and then come back to the wings. I think that will give me more room. Im trying to leave the secondaries on the radial bone so they are easy to adjust during carting. Not sure if its worth the effort.
  4. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Ditto what TWinter advised. Use plenty of borax to help grip the skin for easier wing inversion. You can stop at the elbow if you want, then make an incision on the underside of the wing between the radius and the ulna, and remove the meat, leaving the secondaries attached to the ulna. This takes more time, and I rarely do it. When you wash the bird and tumble in corn cob dust, the secondaries will generally find their home.
  5. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Once I get around the elbow I usually use a dull butter knife to slide along the back edge of the ulna and dislodge the secondaries. On small birds a fingernail will work.
    Go slow, and use a sharp blade to periodically loosen the skin opposite from the secondaries.
  6. Mike0008

    Mike0008 New Member

    Thanks everyone.....it's encouraging to have a place to make sure I'm goin in the right direction!
  7. axwarren

    axwarren New Member

    Some great tips!

    I personally invert the wings, detaching the feathers from the ulna, and remove the humorous, radius and ulna. I then drill a very small, shallow whole into the wrist, and place wire that I've pre-measured and cut to the correct shape of the Radius, Ulna, and Humorous bones a little bit of superglue, zap-a-gap, or even hot glue to secure it in place, keeping in mind that the wires are already measured and shaped according to the bones I've already removed. I would use this technique on a personal bird, or scrap bird if you will, to ensure that it works for you prior to using it on a paying clients trophy.

    That is only on a flying mount, or any mount where the wings will be shaped out from the body. On a standing mount, I don't use any wires in the wings at all, a few well placed pins and wrapping the bird in string is all you need for a great looking mount! I hope this helps!