362 The Book of Woodcraft the bird the more dif&cult. Seabirds, ducks, and divers are usually opened at the back or under the side. Wood- peckers and owls and some others have the head so large that it will not come through the neck slcin. This calls for a sUt down the nape of the neck, which, of course, is carefully sewn up in finishing. If the bird is to have its wings spread, each wing must be wired to the body in the way already set forth for the legs. If the bill keeps open when you want it shut, put a pin through the lower jaw into the palate toward the part in front of the eyes, or even wind a thread around the bill behind the pin (see Fig. 11). The mistakes of most beginners are: making the neck too long, stuffing it too full, or putting the body so far into it as to stretch the skin and show bare places. To make good accessories for a group of mounted birds is another very special business. It involves a knowledge of wax flowers, imitation woods, water, stones, etc., and is scarcely in the line of the present book. Therefore the beginner is advised to use the simplest wooden stands. Not every one has the taste for natural history, but those who have will find great pleasure in preserving their birds. They are not urged to set about making a collection, but simply to preserve such specimens as fall in their way. In time these will prove to be many, and when mounted they will be a lasting joy to the youthful owner. If the museum should grow too large for the house, there are many public institutions that will be glad to offer their hospitahty and protection. There is, moreover, a curious fatality attending a begin- ner's collection. It hardly ever fails. He speedily has the good luck to secure some rare and wonderful specimen that has eluded the lifelong quest of the trained and pro- fessional expert.
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