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Attaching Cast Bird Head To Mount - Barred Owl

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Bruce M, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. Bruce M

    Bruce M Member

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    Working on a barred owl and thinking of making a cast skull rather than using the real one. Any thoughts in this? When using a cast skull how is it attached? I am new and learning and could benefit from e experienced advice. And yes, I have a dnr issued permit for the bird. Thanks for your help. Also, how is a bird fleshed if I don't have a fleshing wheel?
     
  2. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

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    Always used the real head. Easy to clean and use. Leave the scleral bone in place around the eyes. As big as the head seems the skin will turn out over the head just fine. Cool little birds with very different anatomy.
     
    George likes this.

  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    A cast skull is attached the same way a real skull is attached.
     
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I'm with Jim. Artificial owl skulls spell a bucket load of misery.
     
  5. Bruce M

    Bruce M Member

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    Thanks Jim...that's what I decided to do. I skinned it out tonight and it went pretty well. I'm making the body form tomorrow. Going to use poly fill for the neck, wings and legs. What do you do for those? Thanks for your reply.
     
  6. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

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    Use foam rope for that little neck. I use cotton or paper towels wrapped with thread for the legs and wings. Love mounting those type birds. Local park district kept me busy for many years.
     
  7. Bruce M

    Bruce M Member

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    Meaning do you glue it to the neck material somehow or does the head just float?
     
  8. Bruce M

    Bruce M Member

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    Great advice Jim and George. I can't thank you enough. Do either of you know have a thought about connecting the head to neck material - do you try to glue it or just friction fit it into the skull? Also, do either of you know of any good books on bird taxidermy? You tube has been ok but I might do better with a good reference book. Thanks again!
     
  9. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Before you go any further, go to Taxidermy Training Unlimited and all of the taxidermy suppliers and get a few DVDs on mounting quail or pheasants and that will answer MOST if not ALL of your questions. If you want to make your own body using the wrapping method, go to Kulis Kastaway and order the wrapped bird body DVD by a guy called Jerome "snowhare" His last name starts with a B. For every decent Youtube video, there are 20 videos that are not worth the time it took to watch.
     
  10. Use wire to connect the head to the body. Foam tubing can be used for neck. You’ll have to shave it down incrementally to get a perfect fit. Better yet, measure the carcass to save yourself trouble later.
     
  11. Bruce M

    Bruce M Member

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    Thanks tanglewood....I'm going to look into both. I kinda thought the same thing about you tube. Some of the guys seem like real jamokes. I appreciate the advice.
     
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.
  12. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

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    Leave the wire from the end of the neck extend a several inches and push it thru the bottom of the skull out the top, cut it flush when bird is dry.
     
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I'm a bit surprised to see this old time method in use. This always causes special issues when posing. The single wire allows the head to rotate at the whims of gravity. Bending the wire in a "u" and pushing it back into the skull locks any pose you select. Cutting the single wire flush only leaves 1/32 inch of skull bone as support. For that reason, the skull slipping over that wire ended up with many old bird mounts literally losing their heads.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  14. Bruce M

    Bruce M Member

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    Thanks to all of you for the great advice. I never would have imagined or thought to push wire through the skull and then back in but it really makes sense.