It took me 2 years of training with some of the best, to kick out a great looking mount. There are a lot of schools and they promise you a lot. I have seen some terrible birds come out and I have seen some on the very first try that were first rate quality. Just take the time to practice. As far as bird bodies, the other gentleman was right, buy cheap, because after the feathers go on, filler and clay, all that detail does not show up. Here is something you should start right now, buy a big scrape book and start clipping pictures of birds. Live, dead and mounted and sort them by type and put in the book. My book is now 4 scrape books and has hundreds and hundreds of pictures. Reference picture, you can not ever have enough, good luck.
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