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Some questions on first Wood Pigeon Mount

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by PK Taxidermy, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. PK Taxidermy

    PK Taxidermy New Member

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    Hi guys I just got a beautiful homing pigeon from my friend to practice on. Ive done pheasants and waterfowl up until now and I would like to ask for some tips:
    Do you recommend using an artificial head or the real one? Until now Ive only used artificial.
    What kind of gauge wire should I use for the neck, legs, and wings?
    What kind of diameter eyes should I use and what do you recommend?
    Thank you for all your help!

    Edit: sorry I meant "homing pigeon"
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  2. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    PK,
    I've never mounted a pigeon, but I would suggest using the real head, if for no other reason than as a learning experience. I wouldn't think there would be any shrinkage to worry about.
    If it's standing, I'd probably use 16g wire in the legs.... flying 18g
    Probably 18g neck wire
    16g wing wire if flying... I don't usually wire wings if standing, but if you do, I'd go really light.... 20g or lighter.
    As far as the eyes... I'd pop the eyeball out of the skull and measure it with calipers.... then you can't be wrong.
    Admittedly these are educated guesses and I'm sure others will have different opinions. Just my two cents. Good luck to you.
     

  3. Keenan94

    Keenan94 New Member

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    I just mounted an Indian fantail pigeon this past weekend. I used the pigeon form (they only have one) that Van Dyke's sells. I used 7mm eyes. For the neck and legs I used 14g and for the wings I used 16g. I also used the real head and had no issues at all. Here's a pic: 36003179_10155836149329472_4913244403948060672_n.jpg
     
    johnb1 likes this.
  4. PK Taxidermy

    PK Taxidermy New Member

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    Beautiful, can I ask how I should go about doing the head?
     
  5. Keenan94

    Keenan94 New Member

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    I skinned the head out like you would on a pheasant (I didn't have to do a relief cut at the back of the head because the skin on the pigeon's neck has a lot of give to it). I cleaned up the skull and took out the eyes - put the clay in the sockets, pulled the skin back over the skull, and then put in the eyes (plenty of room to do it that way with pigeon eyes) so I was able to make sure the eyes lined up correctly. When it dries, I'll just take white chalk/powder to dab on the nostril areas (since pigeon nostrils have that powdery look), seal it, and that's about it. Also, for the eyes - since pigeon eye color varies so vastly, I just selected the color most like the one this pigeon had alive.
     
  6. PK Taxidermy

    PK Taxidermy New Member

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    And how do you seal the chalk in, and dont I have to take out the brain and tongou somehow?
     
  7. Keenan94

    Keenan94 New Member

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    Yeah, you do. I apologize, when you said you mounted a pheasant before, I assumed you used the real head. So - you want to pull the skin up to the point where it meets the beak but do not separate it from this area. This gives you access to the lower jaw area where you can clean out the tongue and meat from the bottom. For the brain - I use a small wire to stir around in the brain cavity to get it broken up/slimy. I run water in it to get out as much of the brain as I can that way. When I'm ready to clay the eye sockets, I will make really small ropes of clay that I can stuff into the brain cavity first. I use Borax all over the skull and then I'll push the small ropes of clay into the brain cavity. Stuffing this area with clay will cause whatever remains in the brain cavity to push itself out. I will stuff clay until it is completely full and all the remaining brain comes out. I always make a small loop at the end of the neck wire so I can push it up inside the brain cavity so you may need to make the hole in the back of the head a little bigger to fit the loop. Then I clay the eye socks and pull the skin back over the skull. You can use matte clear coat to spray on the nostrils to seal the chalk/powder.