Stránka:book 1913.djvu/376

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354 The Book of Woodcraft plaster of paris and benzine will also be required if the specimen is soiled with grease. The hardest birds to begin on are the very large ones, and the next hardest, perhaps, are the very small ones. The easiest birds are those about the size of a robin or bluejay (leaving out the woodpeckers) . Supposing the specimen to be skinned is a robin: First put a little plug of cotton wool in its throat and mouth, also into any wounds the bird may have, to stanch the flow of blood, etc. This should be done the moment the bird comes into your possession. Now lay the bird on its back, tail toward your right hand, part the feathers, and make a slit from near the end of the breast-bone into the vent (S.V. Fig. i p. 356), taking care to cut only the skin, not the walls of the abdomen. Separate the skin from the flesh by pushing it with the finger nail or knife-blade. As soon as the flesh is exposed, put a pinch of meal on it to keep the feathers from sticking, and also to soak up oil, blood, etc. Some use plaster for this; but plaster is disagreeable under the finger nails, it takes the gloss off the feathers, and if the specimen happens to be a game-bird it injures the meat for the table. The plaster is better however for white, fluffy birds, as meal or sawdust lodges in the down. Push the skin from the body till the leg is reached. Work the leg out of the skin till the knee-joint is clear on the inside of the skin; (H L, Fig. 2) cut the leg off at the knee, taking great care not to cut or tear the skin. The severed leg now hangs to the skin. When both legs are thus cut, work around the base of the tail, freeing the skin. Then cut straight through the bone and all, with the scissors, at the part marked with arrow and black line in Fig. 3 — leaving the tail bone with the tail hanging to the skin,