Selecting a bird to mount
Much of the quality of your mount will depend on the condition of the specimen. Choose the bird carefully. Select one that is not “blown up”. There are limits on what can be reasonably repaired. If a bird is severely damaged, extra time and expense is necessary to repair broken bones, sew huge holes, replace feathers, and rebuild skulls and the like.
Birds molt in the summer. New feathers are growing in for some time after the seasons open. These feathers are call “pin feathers”. If a bird is shot during the early part of the season it will have many pin feathers. Because these are not fully mature, they often fall out of the skin during the mounting process leaving a less full bird as the result. Birds collected after November 15 are generally fully feathered. Your taxidermist should check when the bird is brought it. If not, make sure to ask that the bird be checked for pin feathers to make sure you get a great product back.