Image: Repairing broken tail feather

Repairing broken tail feather

This Brown Sicklebill Bird of Paradise has a very long delicate tail, which has been broken sometime in the past. A repair was done, joining the broken end with a rather large strip of adhesive tape. This tape is not appropriate as a repair, mainly because it is too large and heavy for the tail, quite probably damaging the feather in the long term. The tape needed to be removed to assess the damage to the feather and gain access to make a new repair. To remove the tape, the old adhesive was softened by water held on the surface of the tape with cotton wool, allowing the water to soak down into the old adhesive. It was then picked away with fine tweezers. Care was taken not to pull apart the feathers during the treatment.

Sheldon Teare
© Auatralian Museum

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