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Skinning out a parrot head

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by El Bigoton, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. I'm working on my first parrot. I've skinned out this bird up to the base of the skull because I can't pull the neck over its big melon head. I plan on using the skull and was hoping to peel the skin over the head. What is the next move, do I cut around the beak? Any recommendations are appreciated!
  2. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    below the beak on either side of the neck you will find a bare spot ...make a relief insicion here to turn head,which can be sewed up later and will not show...thank Nancy for this tip

  3. Thanks Byrdman, I thought about what to do for a couple days and I even considered an incision on the back of the head. The skin is in the freezer and figured I'd wait for a bit, thanks for the tip.
  4. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    No prob...had 2 here and got one turned but was too much feather damage on top of head....next one used Nancys cut....a little extra work but results were well worth it.
  5. bowerbird

    bowerbird New Member

    There are several ways depending on species
    Most Australian species can be inverted but I suggest "reversing " the head skin back over the skull prior to washing in a basin of soapy water. Sometimes I will even cut the entire back corner of the lower mandible away to reduce the skin stress.
    All cockatoos macaws and larger amazons I throat incise as mentioned above
    You can also peel out the head from the mandible base if you are casting , or wish to treat and re insert the natural skull before mounting .
  6. So if I understand, an incision along the lower beak just enough to pop the head through and push the scalp over?
  7. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Depending on the kind of parrot, you can make a relief incision almost anyplace on the head. I usually make them under the throat but I have used the back of the head a few times. I would NOT recommend that incision on cockatoos, but on Amazons, conures, etc. or macaws the feathers will cover it quite nicely.

    Just use whatever you are most comfortable with. The main thing is to pay attention to how their head and neck work together - the neck will go under and between the jaws - and also to pay attention to how you position the beak. It will have two joints, top and bottom, and it's easy to make it look weird if you aren't careful. Usually you will want to pull the upper mandible back unless it's reaching out to grab or bite something. Also, most species walk flat-footed, with their heels touching the perch, so double check how you pose the feet and inject the daylights out of them because they really shrink a lot.
    The good news is that parrot photos are all over the internet, so there's plenty of reference.
  8. Kim B

    Kim B New Member

    I'm so glad this got posted! I tried a lovebird a little while ago, and I totally screwed up with the head.
    Bald patches on top of it's head because I just couldn't get the skin over the head. :( I will defs try the incisions next time!
  9. It's a Yellow Head that was a family pet for years. This is my first parrot and they offered Polly to me to try my hand at mounting it.
  10. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    If you want it to look right you will really need to cast the tongue - even if it's just a partial cast. That's because they usually show somewhat, even when the mouths are closed. Also, be prepared to do quite a bit of epoxy work around the eyes - again, if you want it to look right. They have very wrinkled, ancient-looking skin around their eyes.
    You can get good quality, custom made acrylic eyes for it from Eyeconics, located in Malta.
  11. Thanks Nancy C!

    I skinned it out except for the head until I got guidance. Right now it's in the freezer until I get some time to work on it. I saved the body as reference. Would you recommend rehydrating in salt water when I get ready to work on it again?