Last year I applied for, and received, my Federal Migratory Bird Act Taxidermy Permit. This month I finally was able to utilize the permit. What this post shows is 100% illegal for anyone without this permit, so please keep that in mind. You can not possess these species, even if you find them ethically as roadkill, without federal permits.
For my first bird of prey I was very lucky and was able to work on a Great Horned Owl. I cannot accurately explain how exciting this was for me. I have wanted to work on an owl for years now and this is an absolutely amazing species to begin with. This bird belongs to someone that has 3 different permits allowing them to own this species. My permit only allows me to process them for someone that can legally own them.
This particular animal was shot with bird shot by some asshole and brought to the animal rescue where it died. The rescue then provided me with the carcass so that I can build the skeleton and give it back to them to use in their educational shows. I saved some of the bird shot to be displayed with the skeleton.
The owl has been processed down to bone now with the help of my Dermestid Beetles. It’s a large bird, so I would normally expect degreasing to go slow, but since it is a wild animal it may not take that long. Captive animals tend to have more fat on them, aka grease, where as wild animals tend to be fit and lean. But regardless, I won’t be showing this animal again until it has been fully processed and is ready to build.