This week, I have been working on a beautiful magpie commission! Due to my ethics and the clever nature of corvids, I don’t get to work with them often.

Read more: On the taxidermy bench this week

This particular specimen was found as a result of a probable window strike as it was found in close proximity. I don’t know what it is about corvids, but there is something extra special about them that sets them apart from the rest of the bird families. I adore them and it is a privilege to get to know them inside and out, quite literally.

My superstitious nature made me a little sceptical about just doing one…but the fact I feature two magpies in my logo, have two tattooed on me and the overall resplendence of this creature shall protect me from any bad luck that ‘one for sorrow’ may bring!

Although they are amongst my favourite birds to work with, they are also amongst my most challenging, mainly because of their high contrast with the black and white. It leaves little room for error as lack of symmetry becomes a lot more obvious, especially around the mantle area which overlaps the brilliant white scapular feathers. On the contrary, this a bird that also teaches me a lot, because I can visibly see feathering defects easier and I can more easily adjust them.

Check out the video below for some behind the scenes footage of the taxidermy process whilst I work on this beautiful specimen and don’t forget to check back for the finished article very soon!