How to Preserve Bird Wings? – 6 Simple Ways


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

How to Preserve Bird Wings

Are you an avid avian enthusiast, an inquisitive naturalist, or simply attracted by the beauty of birds and their wings? This in-depth article is all about how to preserve bird wings. The following guide will provide you with useful information and a variety of techniques.

The step-by-step directions featured here should equip you with the knowledge and skills for bird wing feather preservation. Throughout the article, we will look into the significance of preservation and a step-by-step procedure.

Read on and find out more!

Ways to Preserve Bird Wings

The method for preserving bird wings relies on the materials at hand, the preservation location, and the intended use of the wings. Here is a rundown of every type of preservation technique that can be used:

Method 1: Borax Method


A good way to preserve real bird wings is by using borax, also known as washing soda.

  1. To begin, spread the powder out to a thickness of about 1/8 and 1/4 inch.
  2. Then, place and secure your wing on top of it and then cover it with an additional 1/8 to 1/4 inch layer of the borax powder.
  3. You should give the wing at least a month to dry out completely.
  4. Then, shake all the borax off and use a spray to remove bird mites.

Method 2: Preserving Bird Wings with Salt


The salt preservation method is a technique used for cleaning and preserving bird wings.

You can preserve the feathers of a dead bird with this long process, the good thing is that the materials you need are readily available.

What you’ll need:

  • A flat-bottomed container.
  • Salt, ( 2 cans of 700g salt)
  • A strip of cardboard
  • Pushpin or thumbtacks

Read the full, detailed instructions below:

  1. Ensure that your specimen has been thoroughly cleaned, decontaminated, and debris-free. When you want to preserve bird feathers, using clean wings ensures that no part of them is obstructed in any way.
  2. Pluck feathers that may have gotten stuck in the wings. Removing any excess substance makes it easier for the salt to do its job as a preserving agent.
  3. Then, prepare your deep tray or box and spread salt on the surface. Ensure the salt covers the space completely; it should be about one inch thick.
  4. Set aside the salt box and go back to the wings. Prepare the wings, the strip of cardboard, and several push pins or thumbtacks.
  5. Spread the wings so they lay flat on the cardboard strip.
  6. Then, secure each wing to the cardboard using thumbtacks, a push pin, or a safety pin. You’ll only need to pin the top of each wing, so you’ll only use two or three thumbtacks.
  7. Place the cardboard with wings on the saltbox. Make sure the cardboard part gets submerged in salt. Doing this ensures that the salt at the bottom gets in contact with the feathers of the bird, drying wings effectively.
  8. Next, completely cover the wings with more salt until no more part of the wing is visible.
  9. Leave the salt box in a cool, dry place for around two months. This process is long, but if you want to store feathers efficiently, then this is the best technique.

Note: This technique works for all types of birds.

Method 3: Cornmeal Method


The cornmeal method is the traditional technique of using cornmeal to effectively dry the wings and feet of birds. This age-old practice involves sprinkling cornmeal onto the exposed flesh, aiding in the drying process.

To perform this task:

  1. Start by removing the full wings.
  2. Straighten and stand the bird upright on claws so that the bird wings spread properly.
  3. Sprinkle cornmeal on the exposed flesh.
  4. After four weeks, the wings should be fully dried and prepared for use.

Method 4: Preserve Bird Wings With Taxidermy


When preserving an animal by taxidermy, the internal organs are often removed, and the carcass is stuffed with various materials. Birds are a common subject for taxidermy displays in museums and other venues. This procedure takes practice and expertise.

Method 5: Mummification


Is keeping a dead bird in perfect conditi for decades your goal? Then you might be interested in this ancient Egyptian method of preservation.

To mummify a bird, first, the body must be cleaned, then all of the organs must be removed. You then dry the bird well before preserving it in a solution of formaldehyde or other chemical.

Afterward, cover the bird in a clean cloth and store it someplace cold and dry.

Method 6: Wet Preservation (Specimen Jar)


Another way to preserve bird wing parts is by storing them in a jar. In this technique, the wings are placed in a liquid solution, such as formaldehyde or alcohol.

These solutions stop the wings from rotting and to keep their color. This approach is appropriate for use in scientific research as well as for long-term storage.


If you are an avian enthusiast, artist, or collector, knowing how to preserve bird wings is a useful skill to acquire. The good thing is that you can choose from several different techniques to do this task.

It should be noted, however, that considerations such as intended application, desired duration of preservation, and expertise all determine the best method of preservation.

The success of your project depends on your following the directions and taking the necessary safety measures outlined in reputable taxidermy guides, ornithology manuals, and museum resources.

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