OK Kyle, you took that pretty good. I know how it can leave a sour taste in your mouth when you hear the negativity, especially when you might be pleased with the outcome. Again, this is only to help you. We don't give two schitz how your work looks. We all started at the bottom, so rest assured, we are not judging your intellect based on your artistic talent. That basically means, that we are here to help. Soak in as much as you can, each and every time you ask for a critique, and in turn get one. You are a far braver man than me. I don't ask for them, and my work certainly lags because of it. I do know where my deficiencies are, and I'm stubbornly trying to work through them on my own. My mentors are those in the business who do great work, carry themselves professionally, and are willing to share. What that means is, I have very few mentors, because the unfortunate side of this business, is there is some ugliness. Very few people carry all three traits. If you come across one of those guys, be thankful lol! I have one of those traits, because I'm willing to help. I'm a hack as a taxidermist, and i certainly don't carry myself professionally lol.
So, I wanted to take a few minutes and reply to some of your comments. Most of us who work on birds spend a lot of time looking at birds, so yes, we do know that birds in motion can do some crazy stuff. Tough to mimic? For sure! Impossible? No. That's why a few reference pictures are good. Walking away from a mount in progress that falls short is not the answer. Now mind you, there is no one mimicking what nature does so perfectly. I believe that is the ultimate goal, and likewise the ultimate compliment, when someone says to you…."I can see that bird doing that as it comes into the decoys." So take your time, and study some anatomy like I suggested in the previous post. A plucked duck is a perfect reference.
What Brian was suggesting about the wings past the shoulders, is the way you have the leading edge (coverts) past the ball where the humerus sits on a bird in flight. This is the "Z" I was talking about. If you look at a plucked duck, you will see.
So If you are indeed cutting off the ball of the humerus, you are definitely extending the wing bones to straight away from the duck. I know this, because your shoulder to wrist portion f our birds in flight is far to long of a stretch. That's why it looks stretched on most of the ducks. Again, that "Z" takes care of a lot of tat, and lets you achieve that wing in flight, that I think you see in your head, but are coming up short on your birds. It might be the way you wire, and if you let us know, we might have a suggestion or two on that as well?
So You asked about the white-fronted goose. The wings actually look better, but again, they are too far away from the body. The secondaries should be closer to the side of the goose's body. I like the body and the feet position, the tail, but the head and neck look awkward. If we had a reference pic of the bird you were copying, we could give you a suggestion while the bird is still drying.
The funny thing is, I just mounted a Ross' that was a similar pose, so let me post a picture of the reference, and my rendition. I have since tweaked with the bird. I struggled immensely with this bird due to dehydration in the skin (thawed out the freezer, and this bird lost a lot of water during that process). Both wings were shattered to the wrist, so I had to improvise with wire recreating the bones that were absolutely gone, therefore I had an exterior wire that I will have to clip off and try to hide later after completely drying. I went through a great deal of trouble, only because this is a Wisconsin Ross', which are very rare here. Look at the reference picture more than my mount. I had to take some liberties due to the bird's condition, and the picture I give of my bird is from a slightly different angle. The thing I want to point out is where the wings are, and what the neck is doing…..none of which are perfect on mine, but this is one of those examples that you were talking about, when a bird can do some stuff that is hard to mimic. I didn't nail the pose, but my ten year old daughter said it looked like a "duck" landing with a flock. That was good enough for me.