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Scale of 1 - 10 how hard is it to mount a parakeet.....

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by John L, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. John L

    John L Active Member

    mind you I have only done a few ducks and a couple turkeys but this might be interesting.

    Older lady wants her parakeet mounted instead of buried and I don't know anyone around me that mounts stuff like this so I might as well give it a shot.... right?


  2. sgsmith

    sgsmith Member

    Have.you giving any thought to having it freeze dried

  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I found some good advise on parakeets from searching the archives in the past. I don't know if you would have any luck searching them now or not. Most of it was from Nancy C.
    John L likes this.
  4. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    They would be . . . maybe a 5? (I have no idea? Maybe they are harder than that but I always liked small birds.)
    For a small bird they have tough skin and the feathers are pretty firmly attached, so those two potential problems aren't that bad. Their heads can be inverted. Not easily, but it's do-able if you are careful. Use the real beak and touch up the shrunken cere with a bit of epoxy when it's dry.
    They ARE small so that by itself can be a problem if you aren't used to small birds. Be gentle!
    They can be very fat but you can flesh them easily - almost with a fingernail. Do a good job if you get a fat one because parrot fat seems to liquefy and leak very easily. 'Not sure why.
    As with all parrots, the head shape will seem weird and blocky compared to a game bird. Pay close attention to the way the upper mandible should lay because on parrots it is hinged and can move a lot. Generally speaking, you will want it to be pressed down/back.
    The neck appears to angle down from the axis rather than back like it does on ducks, etc. It will usually drop in between the jaws, and they normally carry their heads pretty low. Taxi the skin forward on their cheeks to give them that cute little budgie look.
    The feet are weird and will definitely need to be injected. There is a ton of reference online - be sure to take advantage of it.
    Megan :), rigbobby and John L like this.
  5. Terry Bennett

    Terry Bennett Well-Known Member

    Hopefully the owner got the bird cooled down and frozen soon after death. I have never mounted a parakeet, but I have done lots of small birds for the local fish and game and fish and wildlife. Some of these birds are found dead, and in some cases are difficult due to decomposition. You also may want to practice on a another small bird before taking on the parakeet. I would also let the owner know that there is a possibility that many things can happen during the process and it may not be possible to finish the job to the standard that they expect. Small birds can be challenging, but fun to work on Good Luck.
    John L likes this.
  6. John L

    John L Active Member

    Thanks to everyone. Also, for the pointers Nancy. I do plan to mount a couple small birds to get a feel for it before I do this one. Yes it is frozen and I explained to her that it would just be a mounted bird. No personality, no expression or mannerisms of her pet and she may be disappointed but I would do it if she still wanted it done. I plan to request pics and eye color etc....
    Thanks, again. I called several pet stores to see if I could get a deceased specimen but no luck.
  7. AliciaG

    AliciaG Museum taxidermist and exhibit preparator

    Hi John,

    I have a big bag of them in the freezer, I'll send you a few practice birds if you cover shipping. Just shoot me a DM if you're interested.

  8. John L

    John L Active Member

    Thanks AliciaG I may just take you up on that offer. I found out after talking to the owner that it is a Parrotlet or parralette not sure of spelling. Is there much difference in the two?
  9. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    Thaw it out in alcohol if your ever unsure how fresh it is. That’ll take care of any bacteria and toughen the skin
  10. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    There might be.
    On some of the parrots you won't be able to invert the head through the neck skin so you will need to make an extra incision to skin the head.
  11. magicmick

    magicmick magicmick

    Hi Nancy what's the chance of seeing a diagram where you would normally make the extra incision to skin a large parrot head?
  12. AliciaG

    AliciaG Museum taxidermist and exhibit preparator

    Great, just send me a DM with your address and I'll send a few your way. I think budgies (pet store "parakeets") would be great practice birds for gearing up to mount a parrotlet. They are similar in size, but parrotlet will have a slightly bigger head and will probably be harder to turn, though like Nancy mentioned, a small relief cut will solve that problem if you run into it. I usually make the relief cut down the back of the head, or in the featherless area along the side of the front of the throat area. Feathers are forgiving, and the cut is easily hidden with a few stitches.
  13. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Sorry I missed this. I don't visit Taxinet as often as I once did.

    Anyway, I prefer to make a relief cut under the throat rather than on the nape, simply because I can leave the stitches loose and use them as a sort of drawstring to take out any excess slack under the chin.
    Parrots are different from other birds, especially under the throat. There is a hollow gap under there, even more so if they are using their tongues. You normally don't see it because the cheek feathers hide it, but it's important to leave that hole in place and not fill it in. Otherwise the facial skin won't fall into place.
    It also makes a great place to hide the start of a seam! Parrot skin is plenty tough so it stands being taxied very well. Once the incision is sewed up, taxi the skin forward and tuck it under the chin. Shingle the feathers and the incision should vanish completely.
    That way the nape skin is left untouched. A parrots often look cuter if the back of its head is slightly fluffed up, and it's easier to do if there's no seam in the way.
    689, magicmick and Wildthings like this.
  14. John L

    John L Active Member

    What about pricing or what to charge?
  15. magicmick

    magicmick magicmick

    Thanks for your feed back Nacy,sorry for replying late just back from holidays once again a big thank you.