Inserting Glass Eyes into Birds

inserting taxidermy eyes

inserting taxidermy eyes

This article will discuss the use of artificial eyes in birds for the purposes of taxidermy. This is not something that should be done until the later stages of creating a bird. Also, this should be done well after the bird has been fleshed and dried because otherwise it could easily damage the birds feathers.

When doing this with a dried bird, try to maintain the roundness of the eyelids and then carefully take a piece of cotton. This should only be a small piece of this cotton and it should be placed into each eyelid and used to fill in behind eye but not totally. You may wish to use a metal tool to help force this through.

The reason the cotton is used to partially fill the hole is because you should now take a piece of wet cotton and place into the eyelid. This can then be left for 20-30 minutes and once you have returned you should find that the eyelids have greatly softened and are not malleable. This means they are ready for shaping. The wet cotton can then be removed.

Next, measure the length of the eyelid. Next take an eye from your glass eye collection which matches that length, the colours of which will usually be brown. It is useful for a taxidermist to have purchased a collection of eyes so that they can mix and match the correct sizes. To get the correct color refer to the details of the specimens records which should have been made when you first caught or bought the animal.

When choosing the correct eye to match the measurements taken of the eyelids, you should choose an eye which is slightly larger than the measurement of the eyelid. This is because the glass eye will be placed behind the eyelid and therefore need to be of a larger size for them to fit in the socket.

Once the eye has been placed in to the correct position, use a small piece of glue or putty to hold the eye. The putty should be of the type that can be molded so it can be placed into any remaining gaps to hold the eye into place.

To do this, first make sure the eyelid has been wetted and is therefore easy to move as mentioned before. With the glass eyes now in position take some tweezers and place small pieces of the putty into the eyelids. This should be done until all the gaps have been filled in. Then take a needle and use this to push the eyelid back so that the eye fully emerges and also use the needle to remove and pieces of putty present. The last step is to simply clean and tidy up any of the remaining dirt around the eye.

If you found this article useful then check out Taxidermy Made Easy which goes into more detail on topics such as inserting glass eyes into birds.


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