Mounting Common Goldeneyes: A Professional Guide
Introduction: What are Common Goldeneyes?
Common Goldeneyes are medium-sized sea ducks, predominantly found in North America and Europe. They are named for their striking golden-yellow eyes and are a popular species among bird watchers, hunters, and taxidermists. Their distinctive coloration, behavior, and habitat make them a unique and interesting subject for mounting.
Tools and Materials: What you need to get started
Before beginning, it’s important to have the proper tools and materials. Essential equipment includes a scalpel or a sharp knife, scissors, wire cutters, pliers, a drill, and pins. Other materials you’ll need are a mounting base, foam or stuffing material, wire, epoxy, and paint.
The quality of the materials you choose will have a significant impact on the final result. For instance, the foam or stuffing you use should be high quality, soft, and resilient. The paint you choose should be of high quality and have the right color and texture. The better the quality of the materials, the more realistic and lifelike the mount will look.
Preparing the Mount: Cleaning and Skinning the Bird
Before you can begin mounting, you must first prepare the bird. Begin by washing the bird with a mild soap or detergent to remove any dirt or debris. Then, carefully remove the feathers from the body of the bird using a scalpel or a sharp knife. Be sure to keep the feathers in good condition for use later in the mounting process.
Next, you’ll need to skin the bird. Start by making an incision down the center of the breastbone and carefully peeling back the skin and feathers from the body. Once you have the skin loosened, carefully remove the body cavity and any internal organs. When skinning the bird, it’s important to be gentle and precise to avoid damage to the skin or feathers.
Once you’ve skinned the bird, remove any excess fat or tissue from the skin and lay it out flat on a board or work surface. Then, carefully position the bird’s wings and legs in a natural position, using pins or wire to hold them in place.
Mounting Techniques: Step-by-Step Instructions
Now that you’ve prepared the bird, it’s time to begin mounting. Start by shaping the foam or stuffing material into the desired shape. Then, position the bird’s skin over the foam and gradually work it down over the material, being careful to avoid any wrinkles or folds.
Once the skin is in place, use pins or wire to hold it securely in place. Then, use epoxy to attach the bird’s legs and wings to the foam. Be sure to position these limbs in a natural and lifelike position.
Once the legs and wings are in place, it’s time to work on the head. This is one of the most challenging parts of the process, as the head is a critical part of making the mount look lifelike. Begin by carefully removing the skin from the head, taking care to preserve the skull and beak.
Once you’ve removed the skin, carefully position the skull and beak in the desired position. Then, use pins or wire to hold it in place. Finally, stretch the skin back over the skull, using pins or wire to hold it in place.
Finishing Touches: Painting and Final Details
Once the skin is in place and the limbs and head are securely attached, it’s time to paint the mount. Start by painting a base coat of the appropriate color, then gradually build up layers of paint to create a lifelike texture and appearance. Be sure to pay attention to the details, such as the color and texture of the bird’s eyes, beak, and feet.
Finally, add any final touches, such as feathers or other decorations, to complete the mount. Take care to make the final product look as lifelike and natural as possible.
Display Options: Choosing the Right Base and Positioning
When it comes to displaying your Common Goldeneye mount, there are a few things to consider. First, choose a base that complements the mount and provides stability. A natural-looking base, such as a piece of driftwood, can add to the overall appearance of the mount.
Second, consider the best positioning for your mount. A flying or swimming position can add to the realism of the mount and make it more interesting to look at. Consider the angle and position of the bird’s head and wings to create a dynamic and natural appearance.
In conclusion, mounting a Common Goldeneye can be a challenging but rewarding process. With the right tools, materials, and techniques, you can create a lifelike and impressive mount that will be a source of pride and enjoyment for years to come.