The majority of specimens i work on are either captive bred fatalities or road casualties, Once you are satisfied the specimen is legally obtained and died of natural causes, accurate measurements are taken for later reference.
The breast feathers are parted and a small incision is made in the mid sternum without breaking into the body cavity.
The skin is worked carefully over the body, separating the wings and legs as you go, I skin right to the base of the beak.
The scull is though roughly cleaned and separated from the body.
Now the skin is completely inverted it can be thoroughly degreased and cleaned of all fat and other tissue.
The Skin is washed and degreased in warm water.
At this point it is easy to wonder if it will ever look like a bird again.
I carve an artificial manakin from dense foam to replicate the original body.
After some time spent drying the feathers of the bird it is nicely fluffed again and ready to start assembling.
Strong wires are used to give the legs strength to support the finished mount. Wires are also used to hold the wings in position.
After wiring the wings and Legs I model the scull of the bird, insert artificial eyes then secure the artificial body to the scull.
As i turn the skin back over the manikin i secure the wing wires and leg wires into the artificial body.
Finally the incision is sewn up and the bird is posed onto a suitable base. The specimen now just requires some attention to preen the feathers into the correct positions and the process is complete.