Taxidermy in birds

Taxidermy in birds . It refers only to the preparation of the skins or outer covering of the birds, when in the broad sense it is proposed to preserve them and present them in the form and attitude most similar to those usual in their lives.


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Practice of taxidermy in birds

It requires a previous cleaning using for it the essence of turpentine, the alcohol of 90 degrees, the olive oil, and the caustic potash. It is necessary to carefully inspect the plumage, to mislead the signs of cadaveric decomposition, also noting the external characters and taking the length measurements from the beak to the tail. The colors, especially of certain regions, beaks, legs, will always be kept in mind, since they are those that communicate the greatest character to the specimen, to restore it again if it is convenient.

Skin dissection

Before dissecting the skin, it is absolutely necessary to empty the crop and fill the mouth and nasal openings with cotton, sprinkling with plaster. The beak should be closed with a thread that, through the nostrils, will be tied under the lower jaw.

The initial incision is made by placing the bird on its back, and separating the feathers from the abdominal wall with the left hand, while the right one is performed from the tip of the sternum to two centimeters in front of the anus. It is necessary not to exceed the limits of the cutaneous tissue, since, once the thin underlying muscular layer burns, the intestines would come out, which would hinder the operation.

It is placed on the specimen in a supine position on the preparation board, in this case it is very useful, holding the head with the Gestro thread or passing through both nostrils. Arrange the extremities on each side and hold the apparatus, the body remaining in an oblique position.

Preparation technique

At this time it requires great care, separating the skin and successively introducing the scalpel between the skin and the meat, so that it acts at the same time in the form of a wedge, when reaching the last sacral vertebra the skin is inverted, leaving it attached to said vertebra, dissecting it with the fingers and reaching with the handle of the scalpel to the humeral cubitorial or elbow joints. Once in them, the disarticulation and inversion of the skin must continue to the base of the beak. The skin of the ears and the palpebral conjunctivae must be dissected with the greatest care so as not to widen the openings.

The trunk of the head is separated for the occipitoatloid joint, enlarging the occipital hole at the base of the skull and extracting the brain mass with its meninges. The nostrils will be carefully cleaned and the eyes enucleated. Once cleaned, the skull will be sprinkled in plaster and immersed in boiling virgin wax, which will then fill all the pits and cavities, restoring the primitive shape and volume of the head. The eyes are then easily applied due to the softness of said substance. The skin of the head and neck must be reinvested, taking great care in the feathers of this, since they are easily detached.

Wing Preparation

It requires inverting the skin to the metacarpus , carefully detaching the large feathers from the radius and then removing the muscle tissue. The latter will also be extracted in the tibia and fibula , the same in the tarsus, while in the caudal region it will continue in the same way, trying not to enlarge the orifice of the anus. If the bird has very fine plumage, the incision will be made on the dorsal side, and if there is a greasy natural secretion, the plaster with powdered starch will be used.


The assembly of the birds requires the introduction of the wire so that the ends of the wire come out through the wings, heads, legs and tail, avoiding all contact with the skin, which means covering the central part with the tow .

The wire representing the main axis will be introduced, so that when it reaches the wings, a ring is formed, and when going from one end of the wing to the other and crossing with the previous one, another ring is formed that connects to the first one. The same procedure will be followed on the wire corresponding to the legs. The preparer will always use the file to thin the tip of the wire in all operations. Once it has passed through the skull, an exit will open through the frontal bone.

To the mount of the neck and head corresponds that of the wings, rolling up the humerus as much as possible and inserting the wire next to the bone until leaving the wingtip. The wings must be kept open until the legs have been mounted. If you want to represent the animal with the wings folded, it is necessary to use a thin wire, and it should be thick in the opposite case, that is, with the wings extended.

To mount the legs, the femur will be rolled up , passing a wire through the back of the bones until it emerges from the heel and, more or less, depending on the way the specimen wants to be arranged. The mount of the caudal limb will be made similar to that of the neck and head, introducing the wire between the tail feathers until it comes out from the back.


The preparation of the substances to replace the separated organic parts is called filling. The specimen is placed on the preparation board, the skin incision must remain open so that the filler can easily penetrate. The filling will start from the anus to the base of the neck. It is necessary to operate first at the top and then at the bottom, giving the specimen the shape in each case. To compress the materials a stick is used, a wire, bringing together the separated parts by means of a suitable suture.

Making the eyes

The manufacture of artificial eyes involves an enamel table, also equipped with a lamp and a torch. Tweezers of two kinds are required: flat and rounded. The former serve to hold the enamel and activate the flame, and the latter have a ring that holds them tight to hold the shaping wire for artificial eyes when, in addition to the instruments just mentioned, small pieces of enamel are available. cylindroid shape and varied colors, as well as glass fragments that once fused to the lamp also take the desired cylindroid shape. It is an indispensable condition when melting the glass that there are no air bubbles. The enameling table should be placed in a dark room so that the preparation is not altered by light rays. As for the flame, it must be vivid and clear to maintain the enamel colors. Once lit, the tip of the torch is directed to the center of the flame, conducting air from the bellows. Thus, it produces a clear and bluish light by applying the glass or enamel to be melted.

Preparation of small eyes

It is made with tweezers or round pincers, which will be taken with a small wire, while the enamel cylinder is held with the other hand with the other hand. The wire and the cylinder will approach the flame simultaneously, and as this will melt it will be applied to the free end of the wire in a greater or lesser amount, depending on the size of the eye that is desired.

Pupil formation

It is done by applying a small amount of molten enamel to the center of the eye, placing it back on the fire until the pupil and the eye form a single mass. A new layer of glass is immediately applied to most of the eye, to give it a convenient shine and transparency. To obtain the iris, the operator will use a small portion of fused enamel of the required color, applying it around the pupil and subjecting it to fire for better coaptation.


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