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First Mallard

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by yote20, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. yote20

    yote20 New Member

    Hey guys.posted in beginner thread too. Any tips? First time doing a duck. Used Joe Kaiser and Frank Newmyer DVD. Not sure why the middle of the back looks sunken in. I've tried lifting it, fluffing it, preening it. Still sinks back in. Missing feathers? Washed in dawn 4 times, rinsed 4 times, then dried with a blow dryer. Thing is full of holes. I feel like the neck looks goofy too. Probably more thread than there is bird skin lol. Anyways, any help to improve would be greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

    Could be several things going on. Too big a body, to getting the down under the feathers completely dry and fluffed. You can taxi the feathers some to cover the back as well. Your scraps are spread too far apart. Get some blue painters tape and double it up and use it to spread and secure the primary feathers along the length of the wing. Go slow and get them even as you can. Lastly, use good reference pictures of live birds. For flying birds even a good video can give great shots in varying poses. Mallards can be very fragile, especially if they are very fat. Sewing skills are very useful.
    Good luck,

  3. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    One of the reasons it's sunken and those white feathers are showing is the neck position is wrong. Even a flying bird has an "S" curve to the shape. That would shorten the neck somewhat and give more adjustment to the back/cape area. It's being stretched too much. It would also let you adjust those scaps some
  4. yote20

    yote20 New Member

    Thanks guys. I will keep this info in mind on the next one. Its pretty much to dry to move now. I was able to get it to adjust some but I don't know if its enough. Oh well, definitely learned a lot on this one.
  5. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    What they said and try hanging the bird up side down when drying so gravity is not working against you.
    I use puffed borax to tumble my birds. After washing and squeezing out the water in a towel a few times, put the bird in a card board box 12x12 ish with a cup of the borax and a few moth balls [bug proffer] tape the box closed and shake and shake and shake. All puffy and dry feathers, and skin is still damp to work with.
    I do all my turkeys that way and my shoulder mounts dry up side down so I can baby sit the face and seam.
  6. GotHonks

    GotHonks Well-Known Member

    Hey buddy , Nice job for your first ... Mine were not any better if not worse so keep at it .. I think these guys will give you plenty of ideas as to how to fix your problem areas ... As for holes , grease leaks through shot holes( if skin isn't clean) holes are tough ,you still have to defat around them and they tear easy so they tend to hold a little grease IMO ... I put a pc of masking tape on the hole inside the skin . Definitely helps .. If the down won't fluff it's usually not clean ... Anyways .. Like I said keep at it , you'll get better with each one you do and this forum and it's great helpful taxidermist are here to help ..
    Take care