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Bird Restoration

All work here is client commissioned work to either restore the habitat surrounding a piece of taxidermy, recasing a specimen or restoring/cleaning a specimen. From private collections to museum collections.


Every piece is bespoke and catered to the clients needs. No habitat restoration, taxidermy restoration/cleaning or recasing is the same. 

If there is something you can't find here and want to find out more. Please do not hesitate to email taxtiles.taxidermy@gmail.com

Restoring a capercaillie, new groundwork and case.

This capercaillie was in dire need of some tlc, with one of its wings broken off, very dusty and faded. It needed a complete overhaul. I set to work and fixed the wing, and gave the whole bird a deep clean which did wonders for the plumage. Recoloured the beak and feet. Cleaned the eyes too and did some touch-ups on the red part above the eye. The bird was then taken off its old base and put on a new one with some fresh groundwork. A brand new case was made to measure the capercaillie, oak beaded with an oak base. As you can see the capercaillie is looking much happier in its new surroundings.

Before and after of a storm petrel study skin into a mounted specimen.

This study skin of a storm petrel was from the James Harrison collection with sadly no data to go with it. So it was then donated to me to see if I could mount it as a taxidermy specimen. After speaking to some other taxidermists about methods of rehydration. I then gave it a go and it was successful. Not all study skins are viable for rehydration as a mounted taxidermy specimens. So if you wanted this type of work done, you would have to be completely happy with the risk of it falling apart. 

Restoring and remounting antique moorhens and kingfishers for The John Moore Museum

I was tasked with inspecting this very old case that originally came from Bristol Museum and was gifted to The John Moore Museum around 30 years ago. It's large and took up a lot of space in the Museum and the heritage manager had also noticed that pests had gotten into the case itself. Thankfully action was taken in time to save the specimens.

It was decided it was time for the case to be dismantled and the specimens; a pair of Kingfishers and a family of Moorhens, repurposed into 3 separate displays to save space and to allow them to be rotated with the rest of the museum's taxidermy collection. This would also allow the specimens to be easily cared for and maintained as the size of the previous case made them hard to access.

The groundwork was repurposed and anything that wasn't used was recycled. The specimens were quarantined, fumigated, to ensure no pests remained, and then cleaned and recoloured to restore them to their former glory. 

Before and after of a restoration of 2 antique museum birds

These birds are part of the Reading museum collection. I was given the task to restore both of these birds which had a very bad infestation of carpet beetles. The glass had to be taken off first before working on them. As the feathers were loose due to the infestation, I had to be very careful not to remove the feathers while cleaning them as they would fall out. There was also cracking in the back of the case as well which needed to be sealed to stop any unwanted pests coming into the case in the future. Both specimens had been fumigated. So this was a historical infestation.

Both birds were restored using museum grade conservation techniques which can be easily reversed if needed be. The beak sheaths and parts of the claws were also restored and recoloured. Once the restoration work had been completed, I re-taped and coloured the tape holding the glass and the case.