As part of my training plan, I will be learning to repair bird taxidermy. First of all, however, I need to write up condition reports of the damaged taxidermy in the zoology stores. A condition report is a document that lists the specimen’s description, labelling and location as well as any damage caused to the specimen and whether action should be taken to fix it.
Most of the specimens were in excellent condition, but a few were missing glass eyes or had feather damage. Some such as the red kite below had wings and heads detached and needed a general clean.
A specimen such as the Red Kite above would be classed in our condition reports as “fair.” The damage is reversible and the object is not deteriorating. If a specimen was classed as “poor” it would be from excessive pest damage or rot. Thankfully so far I have not found any that could be classed as “poor.” On the contrary, most were fine and perhaps only needed a dust.
Some of the taxidermy was not mounted, or was old exhibition material. This standard-winged nightjar had wires protruding from its feet. The long plumes you can see in the picture below are actually wing ornaments the males have during the breeding season.
So far I’ve found 4 specimens that need repairing, but there will be more. I only checked two of the shelves today. More to come!