Imping is an extremely useful skill in the falconry toolbag. This post provides a broad overview and some good photos of the process. One thing I don’t like is the use of hard metal pins in the feather shaft – they don’t bend easily and may cause a second break. Instead you can use bamboo, which has more give, or imp the new feather directly into the old one by cutting it too long and making a slit along the excess shaft so it fits into the old feather.
Imping is something really cool I learned to do from my falconry sponsor, and now I use it on rehab birds fairly often.
Essentially, it’s the falconry practice of replacing damaged flight feathers on birds with unbroken feathers, either from a previous molt, or a donor bird.
Here’s a Before & After of a Coopers Hawk that needed new tail feathers (from rather different angles):
In rehabilitating wild birds, it helps birds who have broken feathers so that they can be released sooner, rather than waiting around until they molt. Most raptors only molt once a year, so imping really comes in handy.
View original post 245 more words