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 Post subject: how to preserve? need help
PostPosted: February 4th, 2012, 4:09 pm 
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Joined: August 31st, 2011, 5:52 am
Posts: 144
Location: Valle del Yaqui, Sonora
Hi,

As usual, prey birds came from the north on winter. There a a lot of them and sometimes they fly thru the road on a bad time. I found a beautiful male Falco sparverius on a side of the road.

Is there a way to preserve it? need help before my wife finds it in the freezer :D

thanks in advance


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 Post subject: Re: how to preserve? need help
PostPosted: February 4th, 2012, 5:00 pm 

Joined: October 28th, 2010, 3:26 pm
Posts: 355
Not that it bothers me (because it doesn't) but you might want to make sure it is legal to take a road-killed bird. Here in Ohio (and likely the entire country) it would be illegal to do so (especially for a bird of prey).


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 Post subject: Re: how to preserve? need help
PostPosted: February 4th, 2012, 5:09 pm 

Joined: July 2nd, 2010, 5:48 pm
Posts: 577
Location: Imperial valley, CA.
Pancho,

Yes ., but it is an "art" called taxidermy, not something you will be skilled at without a lot of practice. Study skins are simpler, and you need to find some Zoology lab manual or person to show you how. Vertebrate museums at colleges etc. have these study skins in abundance...maybe if you can contact a college with a zoology department someone would show you? These are simple "stuffed" animals, they require deft skinning skills to make it go smooth, and you will probably mess up the first several trys...you might want to practice on pigeons or some other common bird first. Getting the skin over the head is tricky, it is easy to tear or stretch it. These skins document specimens, are great for detailed examinations etc., but are not generally attractive, they don't have glass eyes etc. Like yourself, I just cringe when I see a rare or impressive specimen lying on the road, and if in good shape, i drop it off at a college where some poor grad student will be available to deal with it...that may be an option for you. Be sure to provide accurate data on where exactly you found it, the date etc. There are different techniques, but if was/is/formerly common to use some fairly toxic stuffing items to prevent insect pests in storage,..so this is a big project at times. I don't know about down in Mexico, but in some areas of the US,/ California, possession of raptor parts is unlawful, so be cautious about picking up certain species unless you have knowledge or permits for them....

Buena suerte, Vic


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 Post subject: Re: how to preserve? need help
PostPosted: February 5th, 2012, 4:57 am 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 4:15 am
Posts: 124
Location: Mississippi
Salvaging most birds requires both federal and state permits. In general the exceptions are game birds (you'd need a hunting license) and non-native species like European Starlings. The actual regulations are long and detailed, but available on the USFW web site: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/mbpermits.html


Instructions for preparing study skins (and tons of other great information) can be found in the Manual of Ornithology: Avian Structure and Function by Proctor and Lynch. http://www.amazon.com/Manual-Ornitholog ... 0300076193

A much easier technique than stuffing can be applied to small and medium birds (less than crow size). The specimen can be injected with formaldehyde (abdomen, thorax, brain, thighs, wings) and then allowed to dry for several weeks in a well ventilated place (laboratory fume hoods are ideal). One advantage of this method is that the specimen can be posed.


The advice to surrender the specimen to your local university/museum is good, but not every such institution maintains such collections and has appropriate permits. If they do, some will allow you to volunteer your time to learn stuffing - start with pigeons and starlings and once you've got skill, move on to more valuable specimens. But it takes hours of practice to get good at it.

-Frank Hensley

EDIT: I just realized that you're posting from Mexico. I have no idea about any regulations there. I'll bet you can get formaldehyde easily and do the mummification process I described. Kestrels are the perfect size for that.


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 Post subject: Re: how to preserve? need help
PostPosted: February 5th, 2012, 7:57 am 
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Joined: August 31st, 2011, 5:52 am
Posts: 144
Location: Valle del Yaqui, Sonora
Thanks for the replys, I will look if there is any particular law against picking up a dead prey bird in my state. I do not want to display it at all. just save it the way it look so, no need to be taken to a taxidermatologist.

I google some and found out about BORAX, supose to barry the bird on it for 4 weeks, and it will dry it. Does anyone has hear about it?

best


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 Post subject: Re: how to preserve? need help
PostPosted: February 5th, 2012, 2:10 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:05 am
Posts: 998
Location: Albuquerque
cachoron wrote:
Thanks for the replys, I will look if there is any particular law against picking up a dead prey bird in my state. I do not want to display it at all. just save it the way it look so, no need to be taken to a taxidermatologist.

I google some and found out about BORAX, supose to barry the bird on it for 4 weeks, and it will dry it. Does anyone has hear about it?

best


You want to stretch the skin by attaching it to a board to stretch it. Pour the borax on the non-fur side and let it sit for a few days. It should successfully preserve the skin. It will last a long time, but it is not forever. Also, be sure to keep it away from any dogs that you have, they will tear up a skin any chance they get!

Josh


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 Post subject: Re: how to preserve? need help
PostPosted: February 5th, 2012, 8:33 pm 

Joined: July 2nd, 2010, 5:48 pm
Posts: 577
Location: Imperial valley, CA.
herpseeker1978 wrote:
cachoron wrote:
Thanks for the replys, I will look if there is any particular law against picking up a dead prey bird in my state. I do not want to display it at all. just save it the way it look so, no need to be taken to a taxidermatologist.

I google some and found out about BORAX, supose to barry the bird on it for 4 weeks, and it will dry it. Does anyone has hear about it?

best


You want to stretch the skin by attaching it to a board to stretch it. Pour the borax on the non-fur side and let it sit for a few days. It should successfully preserve the skin. It will last a long time, but it is not forever. Also, be sure to keep it away from any dogs that you have, they will tear up a skin any chance they get!

Josh


Dear Josh and Francisco,

Josh, please note he is working/inquiring about AVIAN/bird skins, which are much thinner skinned and not commonly stretched...in my experience.

Francisco, borax is a dehydrating agent, when skinning a bird some guys sprinkle it on liberally to soak up blood and fluids and keep things dry and tidy...i I have not read about the burying in borax technique you referred to, but it is a dehydrating agent, and it might work. However, it woud be vulnerable to insect attack over time. I am skeptical it would be a long term fix, there is a reason that quality taxidermy is expensive, it is an art and labor intensive. f you really want to do this and make it a long term project and have yet another skill, do consider following the manual you were referred to. You can make study skins that if properly stored will last for many, many years.

I have viewed the museum of vertebrate zoology collection at UC Berkeley in CA., and it is amazing, sometimes "eery" to view skins of very rare or even extinct birds/animals, some of which were collected on expeditons to countries well over a hundred fifty years ago etc.. These skins may prove valuable to researchers, or you may just marvel at them as art objects. I can assure you, when you take the time and labor to prepare a skin, you will forever recognize that bird, it is an effective way to learn bird identification. "a bird in the hand..." Francisco, you need to read that manual and become familiar with the technique and see if you want to go to the effort of not... Also, you can preserve bird skins and capes from some of those colorful roosters down there and tie flies with the hackles etc., so you might find great utility in acquiring the new skill...? I know you are an angler, and if you are a tyer of flies, you know how valuable some of those capes can be. Borax works reasonably well for such simple purposes, but you need to take steps to protect skins from insect/Dermestids which will surely attack them in storage. It is common for folks to do a quick skinning job, not really paying attention to detail, and open up the drawer or box a year late and find a pile of feathers and insect larvae/pupae/frass etc. Your wife won't like it...

Buena suerte, Vic

PS. Let us know if you try it...and know it takes awhile to get skilled so don't be too hard on yourself if it does not turn out great the first time.


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 Post subject: Re: how to preserve? need help
PostPosted: February 6th, 2012, 3:05 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 pm
Posts: 628
Location: cape cod ma.
I used to use cornmeal when preparing study skins. It blots up fluids nicely and when gently rolled along the skin side it removes remaining flesh efficiently.


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